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Preview: New World Notes

New World Notes



Wagner James Au reports on virtual worlds & VR



Updated: 2018-04-20T14:00:00-07:00

 



Open Now: Fantasy Faire, Celebrating 10 Years Raising Funds for the American Cancer Society With Massive, Amazing Second Life Installations

2018-04-19T23:17:23-07:00

It's open now, so click to explore and visit the many wondrously themed regions: Celebrating its tenth year, Fantasy Faire 2018 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Thursday, April 19...



Cajsa's Choices: Amazing High Contrast Second Life Avatar Screenshots Modeled After Real Life Black & White Portraits

2018-04-19T21:23:44-07:00

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting So I was browsing Flickr the other day and saw Panteleimon’s “Rising Son” with a hashtag that said #PryceBodyLanguageChallenge. I clicked and did not come up for...



Sinespace Help Wanted: Virtual World Videographer & Photographer

2018-04-20T00:54:08-07:00

Our friends at Sinespace, the upcoming Unity 3D-based virtual world from SL/OpenSim vets (a proud NWN sponsor!), are looking to hire a talented virtual world photographer and videographer who can beautifully showcase the world's fashion, avatars, scenes, events, games, etc.--...



Why Some People Roleplay as Furry Avatars - Classic NWN Quote

2018-04-19T17:45:58-07:00

"Furries" have been a significant subculture of users in Second Life from its very first inception, provoking the mockery of many gamers, who think it's totally weird and creepy -- unlike, say, roleplaying as a homicidal space marine or a...



Intel Killing Its AR Glasses is Good and Terrifying News for Magic Leap

2018-04-19T14:46:00-07:00

A tale of two Verge stories: Intel Made Smart Glasses That Look Normal - Exclusive first look at Vaunt, which uses retinal projection to put a display in your eyeball (Feb 5, 2018) Intel is giving up on its smart...



Despite Improbable's SpatialOS Platform, Worlds Adrift Beta Testers Worry Performance Problems Will Plague Next Month's Launch

2018-04-19T12:59:20-07:00

Currently the most upvoted, most discussed thread in Reddit's Worlds Adrift group: Seriously, we quit playing a long time ago due to deaths from performance problems; then we hear there is going to be an early access launch next month,...



Watch: The Dazzling Copper Key Chase from Ready Player One Race

2018-04-19T11:28:59-07:00

Just because Ready Player One isn't a great model for social VR and isn't growing consumer interest in actual social VR doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile movie in itself -- it's visually dazzling and kinetic and a lot of...



Watch: Crazy Clever Tutorial for Creating Mirror & Portal Effects in SL

2018-04-18T15:01:50-07:00

Here's Adeon Writer walking you step by step through the process of creating a mirror effect in Second Life -- or if you're a gamer, a Portal-like effect. "I've always had a sort of obsession with mirrors and portals in...



Lumiya, Second Life Viewer For Android Devices, Sells Over 100,000 Copies

2018-04-18T12:58:39-07:00

Lumiya, the popular SL viewer for Android devices, has become quite popular. Since adding support for Bento-based avatars last year, the third party viewer created and published by Aline Lyvette went from purchases in the five figures to six figures...



Watch: This Jaw-Dropping Demo of Unity 3D's Latest Rendering Technology

2018-04-18T11:08:35-07:00

Click and watch in as high definition as possible and careful your jaw doesn't get bruised when it hits the floor. Released by Unity 3D a few months ago, it was meant to show off Unity's scriptable render pipeline: Book...



Real Life Portraits of Second Life Avatars Are Paradoxically More Lifelike

2018-04-17T12:07:52-07:00

For the last four years, longtime RL/SL artist Nylon Pinkney (aka "Elleinadart") has run a unique side business -- hand-drawn portraits of Second Life avatars, commissioned by their owner, paid in real cash for US$, or the market equivalent of...



Upcoming EU Internet Regulations May Have Drastic Impact on 3rd Party Developers in Second Life & Other Virtual Worlds

2018-04-16T16:20:19-07:00

This is a very important post from Casper Tech, a Europe-based developer of Second Life content (vendors, in this case), pointing out that the EU is putting the General Data Protection Regulation into effect next month. And while the law...



Linden Lab Partners With Top Twitch Streamer to Promote Sansar VR

2018-04-16T14:21:37-07:00

Sansar isn't seeing any increased usage from its partnership with Spielberg's Ready Player One, but it's much more likely to see growth through this partnership: UmiNoKaiju, a Twitch/YouTube streamer who has over 60,000 subscribers on Twitch along. She just announced...



Second Life Graphics Could Be AAA Quality if Linden Lab Added Custom Skeletons & Shaders (Comment of the Week)

2018-04-16T12:57:08-07:00

Global illumination in Unity 3D The passionate conversation over Second Life graphics quality continues, with master SL builder Adeon Writer (more on him soon) arguing that SL could have AAA game quality if Linden Lab addressed two gaping holes: The...



Top 8 NWN Posts from Last Week: Sansar's First Impression Problem, The Trouble With Ready Player One as a VR Analogy, and Much More

2018-04-16T11:07:22-07:00

Sansar.com homepage Coming Soon To Sinespace: Live, Multi-User, In-Game 3D Model Editing Tools, I.E. "Prims On Steroids" -- Watch The Demo! Linden Lab CEO To Make Rare Second Life Appearance On April 20 Game Industry Expert Scott Jennings: Sansar Stuck...



Coming Soon to Sinespace: Live, Multi-user, In-Game 3D Model Editing Tools, I.E. "Prims on Steroids" -- Watch the Demo!

2018-04-13T14:34:37-07:00

Click to watch a feature that's coming next month to Sinespace, the upcoming MMO/social VR platform (and proud NWN partner): In-game editing of 3D models in Sinespace with Archimatix, a user-friendly 3D modeler designed for Unity 3D-based apps like Sinespace,...



Read: Excerpt from the AFK Series, Detective Novels Set in Second Life

2018-04-13T12:30:00-07:00

AFK is the name for a series of novels about a virtual detective in Second Life (yes those exist in SL) who goes by the avatar name Definitely Thursday, whose work exposing avatar-based infidelity unexpectedly uncovers a web of murder,...



Linden Lab CEO to Make Rare Second Life Appearance on April 20

2018-04-13T11:06:28-07:00

Put a big red check mark on April 20, SLers, because it's a Very Special SL Day: As part of our year-long 15th anniversary celebration, we’re making numerous appearances inworld to talk about Second Life and the Second Life roadmap...



Game Industry Expert Scott Jennings: Sansar Stuck in Its First Impression as a VR Platform

2018-04-12T14:38:46-07:00

Sansar.com homepage Scott Jennings has worked in the game industry for 15+ years, and is renowned for his commentary and analysis of MMOs, including Second Life, which he has played since its early days. So when he stopped by NWN's...



VR Website Traffic Check: High Fidelity Versus Decentraland

2018-04-12T14:08:17-07:00

Data via SimilarWeb Since social VR users numbers are still extremely low (with the possible exception of VRChat), a better metric of consumer awareness is visits to social VR websites, since that reflects active users logging into the company web...



SL Tutorial: How to Build a Mesh-Based House in Blender

2018-04-12T11:54:36-07:00

Aywren Sojourner has a handy, step-by-step guide in three parts on her blog: Part 1: The Very Basics Part 2: Planning Part 3: Windows & Doors Most SL tutorials are published as videos on YouTube, but as Arwen explains on...



Social VR Needs a New Analogy Utterly Unlike Ready Player One's OASIS

2018-04-12T10:34:22-07:00

Warning: Contains mild spoilers to Spielberg's Ready Player One I finally saw the world's biggest movie about VR -- I'm a late viewer, ironically, because when it premiered two weeks ago, I was busy preparing for a VR-based interview with...



Cajsa's Choices: The "Evidence of Virtual Humanity" SL Photos of Mr S.

2018-04-11T14:46:27-07:00

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting I am always struck by the incredible vision of those photographers who can shoot extemporaneous photos in Second Life that are complete in and of themselves, without...



Linden Lab to Remove & Replace Sansar Content Created by Users With the In-Client Terrain Editor

2018-04-11T11:11:39-07:00

As announced last month, Linden Lab is removing Sansar's in-game terrain editor this month, and as announced in this week's update, is also removing content created with that editor: As we explained in our last release, we are sunsetting the...



VR Pioneer Chet Faliszek: Facebook Needs to Change Its User Data Collection Policies for Oculus VR

2018-04-10T14:48:18-07:00

Above: Oculus' privacy policy clause enabling 3rd party collection of data Chet Faliszek‏ is a longtime game developer (he co-wrote the Half-Life and the Portal games) who helped drive Valve's development of the HTC-Vive platform when he was with the...



Worlds Adrift, the "Community-Crafted MMO", Announces May 17 Early Access

2018-04-10T13:43:46-07:00

After a long development cycle, Bossa Nova studios finally announced Worlds Adrift's early access launch for mid-May. It's the single-shard MMO with a heavy emphasis on dynamic user-created content, running on the new Improbable engine recently acquired by Google, and...



Drivers of SL: Group Turns Second Life's Highways Into an Adventure Game

2018-04-10T11:39:26-07:00

Reader "Pulsar" tips us to a cool-looking game group based in Second Life that makes the many highways of SL into an open-ended adventure game: There is a group called "Drivers of SL". Every week they release a special HUD,...



Philip Rosedale: Spielberg's Ready Player One Isn't Growing Consumer Interest in VR Because the Movie Only Depicts It as a Gamer Platform

2018-04-09T14:36:22-07:00

Really interesting NWN comment from High Fidelity founder Philip Rosedale, responding to news that Spielberg's hit movie isn't driving much consumer interest in the official movie tie-ins now available in Linden Lab's Sansar: Actually this is also true across all...



Is There No Way to Impress Young Gamers With Second Life Graphics?

2018-04-09T12:49:31-07:00

The controversy over Adult-rated content in Second Life last week brought up an equally interesting comment in a totally different direction. The original point of the risque SL machinima, as its 3D visuals creator put it, was to show how...



Top 7 NWN Posts from Last Week: No Ready Player One VR Bump, Harassment in Social VR, Women Who Roleplay as Male Avatars & More

2018-04-09T10:27:30-07:00

American Chopper Meme: Second Life & The Metaverse Edition Social VR Report: Harassment & Fear Of Harassment Keeps Consumers Away Sansar Not Seeing Ready Player One-Inspired Traffic Bump (So Far) Why Some Women Gender-Bend In Online Worlds Infographic: Which Social...



American Chopper Meme: Second Life & the Metaverse Edition

2018-04-06T17:43:34-07:00

Now that the American Chopper meme is my favorite new meme, I couldn't resist. Warning -- contains salty muttonchop biker language: Click for embiggenated comedy At the risk over-explaining the joke, background here. Oh, and for the record: Ideologically, I'm...



Social VR Report: Harassment & Fear of Harassment Keeps Consumers Away

2018-04-06T12:45:50-07:00

The Extended Mind has an in-depth survey of harassment in social VR, with 49% of women reporting at least one instance of sexual harassment, and 30% of males taking the survey reported racist or homophobic comments. Report lead Jessica Outlaw...



Virtual Job Hunting in Second Life About as Daunting as Job Hunting IRL

2018-04-06T11:22:25-07:00

Lexy Neven, a fun SL YouTuber, walks you through the many options for finding a virtual job in Second Life, and they're mind boggling in their depth and complexity -- there's even virtual employment agencies in SL! Walking the world...



Sansar Not Seeing Ready Player One-Inspired Traffic Bump (So Far)

2018-04-06T17:17:20-07:00

Note: Sansar's Ready Player One experience announced at CES in early January (Data via SimilarWeb) With the movie a top hit in theaters and the launch of a second official tie-in experience last week, Sansar may yet enjoy a burst...



Why Some Women Gender-Bend in Online Worlds - Classic NWN Quote

2018-04-05T12:03:57-07:00

Similar to how some men roleplay as female avatars in MMOs to meet the real life woman of their dreams, or to explore their gender dysphoria, some women roleplay as male avatars for reasons of their own. In Rebecca's case,...



Infographic: Which Social VR Platform Has the Most (Or Most Important) Ready Player One/Metaverse-Type Features?

2018-04-06T01:45:58-07:00

Click to expand - download high-res version here Here's an infographic I helped put together with a former analyst who has worked with Deloitte and Forrester and who's now with Sinespace (a media partner with NWN). It's an accompanying infographic...



Cajsa's Choices: Five Great Stories Told Through Second Life Screenshots

2018-04-04T10:29:12-07:00

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting We are storytellers. Edward O. Wilson believes human society originated in storytelling, sitting around the campfire sharing stories of the day, defined what society was. No wonder,...



Watch Here Live at 4pm PST: VR Pioneer Jaron Lanier Appears in Sinespace UPDATE: Interview to Be Rescheduled Due to Technical Issues

2018-04-03T16:50:55-07:00

UPDATE, 4:45: Ironically befitting an interview for a book about the rocky beginnings of VR, we experienced some technical glitches with Jaron's machine, and will need to reschedule the appearance. Apologies to everyone who attended, and thanks to Jaron's staff...



Sansar Launches Second Ready Player One Tie-In Scene: Aech's Basement

2018-04-03T12:59:05-07:00

Hang with your fellow gunters in Aech’s basement and garage! Inspired by #ReadyPlayerOne, in theaters now.https://t.co/wzWFc7bXBQ pic.twitter.com/0sTssTOLtI — Sansar Official (@SansarOfficial) April 1, 2018 The hints we heard last February turn out to be true: Sansar is adding more official...



SL Machinima Classic: Mysterious Virtual World Music Video for "Farrah Fawcett Hair"

2018-04-03T11:07:15-07:00

A few years ago, someone named Trace Osterham uploaded this truly impressive video to YouTube -- a virtual world music video of Capital Cities' "Farrah Fawcett Hair" -- with great photography and editing, impressive visual effects, spectacular imagery... and then,...



Spielberg's Ready Player One On Track to Become Solid (If Not Spectacular) Tron Legacy-Type Hit

2018-04-02T15:04:55-07:00

Refuting my earlier concerns, Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation opened quite well last weekend: The virtual reality fantasy released with a healthy $53 million at the North American box office and picked up an additional $128 million overseas, bringing its...



Does Sexual Content Enforce a Negative Stereotype of Second Life? (Comments of the Week)

2018-04-02T13:02:56-07:00

Interesting conversation over the SL machinima I posted last week, which I warned readers ahead of time: "While it has no graphic nudity, it's very male gazey throughout and gets decidedly porny toward the end." For the record, I asked...



Top 7 New World Notes Posts from Last Week: What Second Life Can Teach Mark Zuckerberg, What Social VR is Most Like Ready Player One, and More

2018-04-02T11:05:55-07:00

Join Me As I Interview VR Pioneer Jaron Lanier Within VR, In Sinespace - April 3, 4pm PST, Here's How To Reserve A Seat Cajsa's Choices: The Surrealist, Kahlo-Esque Second Life Images Of Halfwraith Infographics: Which Social VR Platform Is...



Open Forum: What Did You Think of Spielberg's Ready Player One And Will It Change the Future of Virtual Worlds?

2018-04-01T19:14:35-07:00

Ironically I've been too busy preparing for a VR event for a book about the founding of VR to write a review of the widely-anticipated movie based on a book about the future of VR. (Coming soon-ish!) But if you've...



Sneak Peek of Jaron Lanier's Octopus Avatar for His April 3rd Book Appearance in Sinespace

2018-03-31T01:49:18-07:00

When I asked Jaron Lanier and his people what he'd like his avatar to look like for his April 3, 4:30pm PST appearance in Sinespace to talk about his latest book (click here to reserve a spot!) here's the answer...



Watch: Xara Fiasco, Spectacular Singer Who Performs Originals Live in SL

2018-03-30T15:03:12-07:00

Xara Fiasco is an Australia-based singer who performs original songs live from Second Life, and when I started watching this video above, I was somewhat skeptical until about 2:13 minutes in when she started belting out an original that pretty...



Cajsa's Choices: The Surrealist, Kahlo-esque Second Life Images of Halfwraith

2018-03-30T12:53:20-07:00

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting The poet André Breton, the founder of surrealism, described it as a “fusion of elements of fantasy with elements of the modern world to form a kind...



Eerily Awesome RL Images from the SL Artist Formerly Known as AM Radio

2018-03-30T11:40:14-07:00

Memory.Radio is the Instagram account of Jeff Berg, the artist formerly known as the legendary Second Life artist avatar AM Radio, which currently features a series of hauntingly beautiful real life-based images in which a strange sphere of glowing light...



Infographics: Which Social VR Platform is Ready to Become the Real Life Ready Player One? Compare & Contrast Features to Judge for Yourself

2018-04-02T02:45:04-07:00

Click to expand Dean Takahashi's VentureBeat has an in-depth, tech-heavy review of Spielberg's Ready Player One (with some spoilers!) which features an infographic I helped put together with a former analyst who has worked with Deloitte and Forrester and who's...



Watch: Impressive Trailer for SL's New City Sim Inspired by Cyberpunk 2077

2018-03-29T11:00:44-07:00

Hey remember Drune, that amazing homestead sim with a whole cyberpunk city built with minimum prims? Hera, the creator, commissioned a trailer for it inspired by the recent viral trailer for the upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077. Shot and put together...