A new exciting season of blogging on this website is coming soon, if I can escape Azeroth.
In the meantime, here’s Drax
A new exciting season of blogging on this website is coming soon, if I can escape Azeroth.
In the meantime, here’s Drax
This week’s Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide has a host of attractive looking destinations, but I had to start somewhere, so I started at The Vordun Museum and Gallery. The blurb tells us :
The Vordun Museum and Gallery is a new art and history experience in Second Life. Featuring the use of experience keys, visitors can get a real life feeling of being at a museum. Three new exhibits will be featured at The Vordun, featuring various art by masters and Second Life residents, and a historic Titanic experience.
Inara Pey has already posted an excellent review : The Vordun: a new art experience in Second Life. I heartily recommend that you read it, but I will say that the experience does largely live up to the hype.
There are currently three exhibitions on offer; European Masters, 300 Years of Painting, Lip Service, which will run until September 19th and A Night To Remember, a Titanic experience and I mean that as in, it’s about the Titanic ship.
The three exhibitions provide different experiences. The first, European Masters, 300 Years of Painting provides the visitor with a HUD and also makes use of Second Life’s experience keys feature.
Episode 39 of The Drax Files: World Makers introduces us to Sergio Delacruz and Delacruz Park. I’ll embed the video at the end of the post.
Sergio hails from the Italian island of Sicily and is a content creator who creates experiences within Second Life. His latest example being the multiplayer inworld game Susan’s Diary. The blurb for Susan’s Diary informs us :
Susan’s diary is a creepy horror game where you must find the lost pages of an old diary in a haunted house and find what happened to little Susan. Visit rooms, secret passages and solve puzzles to reach the end of this experience.
Sergio has embraced content creation in Second Life in a very large way, he creates and scripts everything for his projects.
However this doesn’t mean that Sergio doesn’t appreciate collaboration or shared content. Sergio informs us that he learnt how to build in sandboxes and studied free scripts to help him learn how to script.
Sandboxes are a resource in Second Life that don’t get anywhere near the attention or thanks they really deserve. They allow you to build and learn alone if you want but you’ll often find people happy to share tips with you at Sandboxes too.
Project Sansar is making the news again and we learn a little bit more each time an article is published. A couple of articles I’ve read today add some more context, it’s not earth shattering news but it adds a little bit more.
The first article is by Edward C. Baig over at USA Today and comes with an accompanying video : Second Life’s creators try for a third — in virtual reality. The part I find interesting in this article is in terms of discovery. That means how people will be able to find Project Sansar experiences and although this has been mentioned before, the way it is described in this article really hits home :
Linden Lab’s design aims to give Sansar creators more power to attract an audience to their experiences than they do in Second Life, where visitors may stumble upon the places by chance. Some people never find such places and don’t stick around.
If you search Google for “I want to learn French” you might find in the search results a virtual reality experience in Sansar where you can actually “go to virtual places in France, meet French people and have French dialogue at the boulangerie,” Altberg says.
The key difference there being that unlike Second Life, you should be able to discover Project Sansar experiences via the web. I know you can search Second Life from the web now, but the Project Sansar approach sounds more organic in terms of discovery.
Second Life’s 13th birthday celebrations may well have ended in terms of performances and music, but the regions are still open for exploration and as it’s a lot less busy this week, it’s far easier to navigate your way around.
The regions will be open until Sunday July 3rd and there’s still plenty to do, such as touring on pods, grabbing free gifts, enjoying the exhibits, hitting the Linden prize gives or enjoying the big hunt.
Music Fest in Second Life, a three day live music festival event that is part of Second Life’s 13th birthday celebrations started today at 11:00am SLT with a performance from JuelL Resistance. The full schedule for Friday June 24th is :
All times are in SLT or PDT if you prefer and all performances for Music Fest take place on Stage Left.
Xiola Linden was at the front of the audience, leading attendees in dance.
The crowds are mixed, there’s no dress code, other than be decent and PG rated as it’s an official event. The music is, as I’ve said, live.
It’s like buses, you wait ages for one and then a load come at the same time. Recently I blogged about discussion of transhumanism in Second Life and beyond :
The topic has long been considered controversial, but it’s a discussion area that was once very vibrant in Second Life. I am surprised we have not seen more of a resurgence in this area of discussion within the Virtual Reality hype cycle.
Before I go further, with regards to the previous post I linked to, Giulio Prisco has commented on that post to say that people are welcome to go to the meeting mentioned in that post.
Over at Motherboard Vice there’s an article by Zoltan Istvan : Wild Transhumanist Campaign Tech We’ll See in Future Presidential Elections.
There are links between the post at Motherboard and my previous post, the common denominator is Terasem.
Zoltan Istvan is a 2016 USA presidential candidate for the Transhumanist party. In the article he talks about how wearable tech, the rise of VR and changing technology could very well change the way election campaigns are run. Zoltan is no stranger to the tech, indeed he was in Second Life last year and in the article he says :
As a presidential candidate myself, I also recently gave a virtual speech in Second life. At the Terasem Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futurist Persons, I spoke to an audience that consisted of about 50 avatars—some who appeared as creatures, cyborgs, and significantly mutated transhuman beings. My own avatar—kindly created by transhuman spiritual organization Terasem for this event—looked quite like me, and even had the afternoon shadow, which apparently I’m often guilty of having.
I also see from the video that Extropia DaSilva was there. The article talks about augmented reality, suggesting that candidates may want to use AR to demonstrate pie charts, live stream how walls would look and more.
As part of Second Life’s 13th birthday celebrations an inworld Q&A session called Meet The Lindens takes place. Last night it was the turn of Linden Lab CEO to sit on the couch and answer questions.
SL Newser reporter Bixyl Shuftan reported on the event yesterday and as part of his report he wrote :
Ebbe was then asked if users of Sansar would have the option to chose their own names for their avatars, or would they be having to use real-life identities. Ebbe answered he was leaning to the latter, “I think what’s best for Sansar is real names. … anonymous identities makes things confusing.”
Hamlet Au over at New World Notes picked up on this and blogged : Project Sansar May Require RL Names, Suggests CEO. The comments on Hamlet’s post suggested that many people were not exactly enamoured by this news. Fortunately, Ebbe didn’t say that real names would be required for Project Sansar and this simply seems to have been a matter of crossed wires.
Inara Pey has the posted the full transcript and audio : SL13B: Ebbe on the Lab, Second Life, Sansar and more. Here we can see that Ebbe mentions that Linden Lab have been discussing issues of identity for Project Sansar and that real names are being discussed :
I have a preference, some other team players have slightly different preferences, so we’ll see where it ends up. But I think what would be best for Sansar would be real names, and then the ability to have personas underneath that.
This should not be taken in isolation, reading the full transcript we can see that Ebbe isn’t saying that everyone should have to display real names, but he feels it might be ideal if Linden Lab know your real name and that in certain circumstances you may well be in a setting where real names are a better option :
So I could go into a role-playing, or into an experience as an anonymous user in that context. But to the platform, I am not anonymous. And so, without making that too complicated and confusing, is that the right answer? We’ll see. But I think to, it would certainly help with griefing and other things. And it also supports a lot of interesting use-cases where anonymity is actually just really confusing, and actually gets in the way.
You can think of a lot of professional use-cases where there are teachers and students and professionals having meetings where these anonymous identities makes things really confusing; “I know Bob, I want to talk to Bob. Who the hell is this Jumping Jack guy?”
So we’re still debating this, and I’m pushing in one way, and people are pushing in different ways, and we’ll see where we end up. I mean, unfortunately, to implement real names is also really complicated. Do you hitch a ride with Facebook, or do you have to somehow build your own real name system.
There’s more, a lot more and I urge people to read it in full. If you want to go straight to this part of the transcript go here. The important things to note are that Linden Lab have not yet made a decision but it looks as if they are talking about the possibility of using your real name or a pseudonym depending upon the experience you’re visiting. This is not a new discussion at Linden Lab and has been going on since well before Ebbe Altberg joined the company.
Away from Second Life’s 13th birthday celebrations we move into an area that used to be discussed a lot more in the earlier days of Second Life; Transhumanism. Over at The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) Giulio Prisco has a published a post : Paradiso and Inferno in Robin Hanson’s ‘The Age of EM’.
The post discusses a book by Robin Hanson, The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth. The topic has long been considered controversial, but it’s a discussion area that was once very vibrant in Second Life. I am surprised we have not seen more of a resurgence in this area of discussion within the Virtual Reality hype cycle.
The blurb from the book tells us :
Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like?
Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human.
Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times: an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs. In this new economic era, the world economy may double in size every few weeks.
Giulio, in his post, gives us more information regarding the content of the book :
Robin’s future em world is derived from our world with one – and only one – big change: the arrival of operational and cheap mind uploading technology, sometime in this century. Robin’s methodology is to take our world as it, with all the facts and trends that we can see in technology, society, politics, and economics, and add mind uploading technology to scan living people and copy them to “ems” – software emulations running on suitable computing hardware.
This is very Science Fiction and if you’re not familiar with the topics, you may find this all a bit daunting, odd, scary or all three.
Today I was reading an article over at the Inquisitr by Cal Jeffrey : No Man’s Sky’ Spoilers: Indie Developer To Revolutionize Gaming After Settling Lawsuit. The article is, as you would expect, about the hotly anticipated No Man’s Sky, which I am very interested in.
The article starts by pointing out that No Man’s Sky will still be called No Man’s Sky after settling a trademark dispute with SKY broadcasting group. This seems to be an absurd claim by the way, I am not sure how SKY had a leg to stand on, but apparently they did. The Sky was here long before the broadcaster, but I digress.
Another part of the article caught my eye :
No Man’s Sky has no plot or storyline. This aspect may be its only drawback, but the move is intentional. Hello Games wants a game where players create a story of their own. In that sense, the game is a bit like the now defunct Second Life. Second Life had no story. Players just logged in and lived their second life. The difference with No Man’s Sky is that there will be things to do in this game and there will be lore to uncover and somehow the Atlas ties into that lore.
I’m used to people saying “Second Life, is that still around?” but defunct? Nothing to do? This in the same week as Second Life is celebrating its 13th birthday!
Today’s event schedule can be found here and again we see a mixture of events including DJ’s, live music, discussion, poetry, dance performances and more. There’s pretty much 24 hours worth of events scheduled.