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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Second Life's Growth Debated
Is the reported "growth" of the Second Life economy real, or "virtual." One interesting factoid. The top 25 earners in SL took home $12,000,000 US. That's real!

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Everyone Knows Everything"
-- Alan R. Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company

Thus, people around the world will have the same information, allowing them to select an automobile made for a world market, according to Ford's CEO. But the declaration: "Everyone knows everything," applies to much more than just cars. With information becoming ubiquitous, will there also emerge a global ethic, a shared value system, a common culture replacing the cultures that have long been central to our identities as peoples? This is a powerful, and in some ways, frightening thought.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Books About Virtual Reality

If you want to get an idea of how big the virtual reality movement is, and how broad its implications are, just take a quick tour of the books on this topic. Of course, one might consider it ironic that one of the main factors in what is supposed to be a migration away books and towards a culture centering around digital communications technologies has itself spawned so many books. May a thousand flowers bloom! Check out the latest book list now.

And amazingly, the press is covering the topic as well. Are newspapers tracking the story of their own demise?
Check out the latest news stories here.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Thanks to Koreen Olbrish for pointing to this excellent note about TransSocialPlay by Gary Hayes. He asks: "Can we truly create meaningful immersive media ‘experiences’ for others? Ones that last, are memorable, have impact & emotion and keep the (people) ... coming back for more?" His full note gives a thought provoking answer to that question (see link below), but he also summarizes this thinking in the form a chart, which I think says a lot.
For the full post from Gary Hayes

Monday, July 27, 2009

Charles Takes His Avatar For A Sail

This photo was taken with a digital camera on board Charles's RL sailboat off the coast of Tuckernuck, a small island which is bilocated in Second Life New England and a few miles off the real world shore of Nantucket. The avatar Charles2 McCaw was photographed in world at the same location. Both love to sail, cruising RL water during the day and the seas of SL at night using the onboard computer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Virtual Worlds On The iPhone?

We're not there yet ... but it's coming. Currently with an iPhone app called "Sparkle" I can log on to Second Life and connect with my friends and business associates who are in world. I can IM, chat, and transfer lindens. I can even send a TP request. Also, when I log on via my iPhone, I show up as being in world even though I may be far out at sea and far away from my computer. Of course, there is no visual presence, but hold your breath, that won't be long in coming, I predict.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

White House Rep Hosts Meeting About Digital Technology

This from Amanda Linden on the Second Life blog:

Yesterday, Beth Noveck, the Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House and the person responsible for Open Government, held a mixed-reality event co-sponsored by the Markle Foundation and Global Kids, to discuss her new book “WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful.” (for more)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Art, Philosophy and Virtual Reality

For any number of reasons, several of which are explored on these pages, virtual worlds offer fertile soil for artists, philosophers, theologians ... in fact, anyone, with a penchant for reflecting on the meaning of life. The short movie (referred to by virtual world enthusiasts as "machinima") now showing on YouTube and linked to below, is a wonderful example of how this digital medium works as a promising platform for using a new art form to address some age old questions.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A very interesting and challenging project, culminating in a virtual world exhibit this September. We will track this with great interest as artists and designers seek to answer the question: "Is is even possible to visualize God in a 3D art project?" You can visit the website to learn more, but to really get in on the action you will need to have a Second Life account and avatar.


A Life of Its Own

In the days when literature was supreme, one of the highest compliments one could pay to a writer was that a character in a work of fiction took on "a life of its own." The impression being that the portrayal was so "real" that the character jumped off the page to take on a life within the imagination of the reader. So ... let's apply this to virtual worlds. What if one's own avatar becomes so real as to begin acting with an apparent independence? Is this a compliment to the creator, or a sign of mental illness? What if it happens to be another person's avatar? Does that, then, bring us back from the brink of mental illness and closer to the unambiguous realm of the compliment? Or even more intriguing ... what if the virtual world, community, or circle of friends becomes populated with characters who seem very, very real? Is this a compliment to the technology, a sign of mass hysteria, or something entirely new in the way people connect with each other and spin imaginary worlds that "take on a life of their own?"