Monday, 31 January 2011

Virtual Egypt showing its support for the revolution



EGYPT Sim in Second Life, where people are showing support for the revolution going on against Mubarak.




Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

A vision of Twinity joined to Google Earth



Above my rather realistic looking avatar in Twinity standing in the immersive Virtual Parliament Square



And here that space shown as a location in Google Earth. The other locations are foursquare checkins over the past 2 months.

These two images show how conceptually easy it would be to link Virtual Twinity cities with real world Web 3.0 technology via Google Earth. In theory it should be possible for a foursquare checkin or anything else about a location in Twitter to show up in Twinity in real time. Each geo-located tweet that happens in the real world could show up as a buggle in a virtual world like Twinity.

For organising or monitoring the real world this would be very powerful. I could potentially now only see real world messages on a Google Earth, but when something interesting seemed to happen I could walk in a virtual model, to see how the space feels in reality and potentially to even register as a ghost or virtual presence to people on the ground.
Posted by Picasa

Trying to capture place




Above is a model of the Eiffel Tower in Second Life.



IMVU Eiffel Tower above and Google Earth below:



As a human you can understand right away that these are three models or maps of the same place in the real world. You can deal with the various differences between the 3 simulations to understand that they encode the same place in the real world.

So how do you write this in a semantic triplet. I have struggled with this for a few years and not been able to find a clear grammar for classing virtual reality models to real world places.

What is interesting about Twinity is that is gets rid of this entire problem by building its virtual world upon the real world as mapped in Google.

I would say that Twinity imposes singularity, consistency and isomorphism of a location in their reality with the real world location. Second Life and IMVU allow any number of "simulations" of the real world.

Certainly IMVU and Second Life are "freer" and more open. But sometimes what a technology needs is restraints. We call that a framework. Second Life provides a framework for creating virtual spaces, it does not provide a framework for easily mapping these virtual spaces to real spaces. Twinity provides such a Framework. When they make Virtual Paris it will be mapped clearly to real Paris.



So why does this matter. Well if you want your Paris to play a game in it does not matter at all. Also if you want online social networking it really does not matter. The IMVU Tower is as good for chat rooms as any other so. But say you want to link virtual reality clear with the real world, having a business with a virtual presence that is linked to its real world presence. Or perhaps you want to have events in both virtual reality and the real world at once. Though it is possible for Second Life, a Twinity would make this more consistent and easier to implement.

Developers who use the Geo-Position data from Google could write applications to link Foursquare, Facebook and Twinity together allowing future users with Tablets or smartphones in say a Virtual Parliament Square in London to interact with people all over the world in real time in a kind of virtual space.



This idea is so obvious it has been a part of Science Fiction for years. Verner Vinge in Rainbows End presents a world of such augmentation, and obviously there must be some platform that joins the real world to the imagined world that joins up and augments it.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 27 January 2011

IBM CityOne Trailer: A Smarter Planet Game 9/24



Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Really me, perhaps your avatar is more you than you.


An avatar self portrait, perhaps all avatars are in fact more honest self portraits than we relieve.

When I was still a post-modernist I imagined my avatar was alternative self, that a single person could move from one avatar to another like reading different books and seeing different characters. That due to the Outsourced suture one could move in and out of identities without any real attachment or social responsibility to them.

See
Second Life has taught me one thing, that Post-Modern theories may be wrong
How do you understand Second Life

But recent reading and review of Second Life has caused me to deeply question this. Zizeck raises a very interesting point in much of his work. If we observe a silent impotent man with no real power in his life or relationship going in to Second Life and playing a sadistic slaver master, which personality truly is "him"?

The identities we form in Second Life are much less controlled by our social circumstances or cultures. We are free to interact with people from all over the world in a fantasy space. We are therefore less restrained. It is not just that we feel less restrained, but that we are less restrained. We can do things in fantasy space that we can not do in real life.

So are these selves we create in Second Life really alternative, or are they the true selves we must repress. I guess that all comes down to what we define self as. Is the self the full interaction between what we want to be and do and what we compromise and become in our culture, or is the self something we see as being independent of culture and social norms.

For example a woman with lesbian feelings who lives in a southern home may marry a man and have children to confirm to the dictates of her church and family. Is she a housewife and mother or a lesbian? Which is the true self and which is the false self? Is she both?

I guess in the end I put my lot with Lacan and say that she is neither. No identity ever gives us a real self. That may sound morbid to people looking for a true expression of self, but when you start asking questions like the ones above it makes analysis a lot easier.





Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Love, Sex and Second Life



I generally don't post much detail about the "sexual side" of Second Life. I know I write about it, but I don't go in to detail. In fact most of the sex animations I have shown are between avatars I control, like the two above. I am not going to post images of people getting it on in Second Life, its kind of perverted I guess.



But I make one exception here just to give the reader a taste her of the extent to which sex fills and illuminates Second Life. Sex is the most popular activity, sex Sims are almost always crowded and people who do cyber are more likely, in my experience to stay inworld than people who don't.



People go to Second Life to cruse casual sex. Very often its bored housewives, businessmen in hotels, or lonely students looking for some passion that normal web porn just can't give. The fantasy world of Second Life, like cinema itself, promotes this kind of taking on of the persona of the lover.

My exploration of Twinity and even the teen popular IMVU have confirmed to me that enhanced levels of sexual display and easy movement between partners is just a feature of the virtual reality experience. Sex and the Internet have been going out for some time, and in virtual reality it seems they get married.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Key lessons from IMVU: The importance of marketing



Over the coming weeks I am going try and present the points I think have lead to IMVU success over Second Life. Today the first is the importance of marketing campaigns. Not just social marketing, letting your advertising be crowd sourced. IMVU has embraced web marketing with targeted ad that give a clear image of what they are trying to sell.



This has not only proven the value of marketing money spent, but also the importance of getting your brand identity out there in a way you want. IMVU present to the world, each day in web ads, an image of how they want to be seen. Linden Labs has retreated on this front and allowed the story to be about the "Coming Collapse of Second Life" for some time.



But Linden Labs failure is not only more conventional branding advertising, which hey never engaged in, preferring hype to sell their product. This meant they lost total control of the message from the start. Linden Labs still does not have a clear Social Media marketing strategy, and while my post about BlueMars and Twinity are consistently retweeted by those companies, my thousands of posts about what there is to see and do in Second Life have never been embraced by Linden Labs.
Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Botgirl's Second Life Diary: What A Social Network Vacation Taught Me About Life in the Stream

Botgirl's Second Life Diary: What A Social Network Vacation Taught Me About Life in the Stream

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Botgirl's Second Life Diary: What A Social Network Vacation Taught Me About Lif...

Botgirl's Second Life Diary: What A Social Network Vacation Taught Me About Lif...: "I'm back on the blog after a week of virtual retreat. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting reflections on what life outside the st..."

Social-Network-02


Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

A city in IMVU


A chat room made to look like a urban landscape. Not much to explore but avatars in Second Life cluster around hubs and click on animations to chat. IMVU concentrates on proven popular features of Second Life without wasting resources on less used ones, like supporting massive clusters SIMs that produce ghost towns for people wonder around.






Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Finding Sex in IMVU, Freud in the Metaverse


A chat room in IMVU is like an island in Second Life. It was smart to lay the world out like this, Second Life's map is just a lot of overhead to Linden Labs and no one really uses it or is aware. The entire "map" with continents things broke down a long time ago as Second Life evolved in to Islands. IMVU is more a set of rooms, but many of the rooms are walled with what looks like landscape. Essentially they are setting up single spaces for people to TP in to, which is what people do with SL already.



Oh and in #1 Hospital in IMVU I encountered the first references to sex play. Its pretty clear a lot of kids are doing cyber on IMVU, but I would strongly recommend against it. The population of children on it and lack of age verification in most places could land you in real trouble quick. And if you are under 18, I think this is the wrong way to explore you sexuality.



I think Virtual Reality will always be pushed towards collaborative porn. Users will find ways to masturbate. Something about the anonymous status, the virtual environment itself which reduces inhibitions, people's past experience with the Internet being full of porn, and the Outsourced Suture, meaning you can "pull out" at any point you feel uncomfortable.




What I think happens is that when someone takes on an Avatar in most Virtual Realities they are doing something very much like dreaming or movies. The Reality Principle as defined by Freud suddenly becomes far more fluid. The laws governing what one can do change and many things about our identity that are fixed by biology and culture become more fluid. We also enter a very limited world where we get very little information from the people we interact with, which means are imaginations fill in the rest.




In this situation sexuality naturally emerges as a key driver, and we will probably always see sexualization of virtual worlds.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Blue Mars, if can't afford to keep up client dev than why keep releasing new client updates


Blue Mars, if can't afford to keep up client dev than why keep releasing new client updates?

To be frank the recent news that BlueMars would suspend client development is probably the best news for the platform in a long time. The damn site already releases far far too many client updates that must frustrate users as much as it frustrates me. I have frankly decided to give up on BlueMars. Nice graphics no doubt, but the thing is just a technical disaster.

With the rise of IMVU and the HyperGrid an the continued life and evolution of Second Life, who needs this one?



Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

OS Open Grid seems to still be down


Not sure if its just me or if OSGrid problems keep it down. Big blow for the concept of HyperGrid if tis is a problem on the site.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 24 January 2011

Lovely mountain view in Second Life


*FakE* Eclectic Casual Styles for Women

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

inWorldz Stuart's house



John Stuart's house inWorldz, though the scale of much of the production inWorldz is impressive even by Virtual Reality standards, much is still "under construction" and most of the under 1,000 SIMs seem empty of objects and community.


Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Vast opne Cape Breton inWorldz


Cape Breton is a vast empty space inWorldz. This land is owned by Allod Tolwen but awaiting some development.

SURL inWorldz (and not in SL) is http://slurl.com/secondlife/Cape%20Breton/132/79/22

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

InWorldz Home of Fudge


Home of Fudge is the Home of Fudge Floresby inWoldz SURL is http://slurl.com/secondlife/Midsomer%20County/177/121/23



Like much of the hyper grid SLURL still are formed like Second Life urls. This works fine in world, where the slurl.com address is still resolved by the technology to a place in world, but it is damn confusing when you are trying to keep a set of hypergrids separate.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

No prize for Second Place


In about six years not only has IMVU overtake Second Life in world participation, it now almost always at least doubles it. And it runs ads, meaning it can sell ad space that Linden Labs really can't and sell it to at least twice as many people.

Perhaps Linden Labs was a bit too geek friendly. A hard lesson of IT is that geeks won't appreciate anything you do for them, and everyone else will shit on you for doing things for geeks.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Dating with IMVU, its seems they just are rerunning Second Life, but at a profit!!!!

Should we gag or celebrate IMVU

"IMVU is meant for all ages, however there are a growing amount of people using it as a dating website. The whole thing seems to run smoothly as ages are filtered by strict verification methods so that adult sections can only be visited by an adult etc."


As a consumer of Virtual Reality I hate IMVU. Its cheap, its cheesy, it full of children. Movement is a joke, and I can't stand more than 1 minute being in world. Blogging about IMVU is something of an effort for me.

But as a professional I love the fact that someone essentially lifted the most simplistic and basic features of Second Life and figured out how to make money at it.

IMVU proves and Virtual Reality will be a viable business very soon. Maybe it even proves there is a future for Second Life.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Embrace the Fake: Second Life may be best when it is a stage


~ Fantasia ~ - Medieval and Fantasy Roleplay Costumes

In the future Virtual Realities will come in lots of different types and be used for different reasons from augmented reality, to gaming, to education and training. In theory Second Life is kind of a Proof of Concept for all of them. A site like IMVU embraces the fantasy and community feature, while EVE is game playing. Twinity would probably be best for education and augmented reality.



This SIM illustrates Second Life's power as a staging platform, as a next generation of collaborative Hollywood. The mountains int he distance are not really modeled, but fake low prim visual effects that give the entire SIM a lovely look, but when viewed from behind are shown to be infinitely thinner than paper.



And what is sold is pure illusion. A stage and the costumes. If only the interface was better Second Life would be a wonderful place to enact theatre, but given the low quality of movement and graphics one should not be surprised that the basest and most common genre has taken over: that of pure pornography.




Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
Posted by Picasa

Official Linden Blog