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second life

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Linden Lab invests on Second Life cover

Linden Lab won’t abandon Second Life, on the contrary, after celebrating SL 14th anniversary and after officially open the new immersive virtual reality platform, Sansar, a message from the Ceo Ebbe Altberg (aka Ebbe Linden) to the “residents” of the metaverse promised further investments for “many millions (USD, not L$…)“.

Upgrading infrastructure, moving to the cloud

First of all, Linden Lab is already “at work upgrading all of the Second Life infrastructure and moving it to the cloud“, so to make the platform more performant for users across the world and to “introduce new products with more flexible pricing“. Particularly, Linden Lab is at work to give Premium members a series of advantages, as already did gaving priority access to near-full events “in world“.

Second Life airport 2017

News coming in for Windlight

Further, “a series of great extensions to Windlight (code name: EEP!)” are under development, which will give “value, flexibility, and new marketability to land” in Second Life, making Windlight settings tradeable assets. We will see what does it really means, and if this will offer advantages for creatives (for instance for digital photographers who, with their images taken in Second Life, drive many social network communities like our group on Flickr).

Linden Lab focus on gaming

Linden Lab seems increasingly focusing on the “gaming” side, heralding “an exciting new grid-wide gaming experience“. Details will be known in a few days and will precede the launch of this year’s Halloween Haunted Tour (Halloween seems to be one of the biggest celebrations in Second Life). We could note that if for over 14 years Second Life has never had too much success as a gaming platform, must be a reason (we talked about many times), but let’s see what happens.

Second Life ghost train

Linden Lab already looks at SL15B

The whole thing, remembers Ebbe, waiting to celebrate SL15B, i.e. the 15th birthday of the platform, which still keeps to draw thousand users from all over the world, 24/7, despite the most reckless disregard of mainstream world press, the same which in 2006-2007 seemed “go mad” for the possibility, never materialised, that the whole web chould change in a giant Second Life.

Long life to Second Life, then, and if you wanna know how it will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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    Sansar cover

    Sansar, the new virtual reality platform developed by Linden Lab actually in “creative beta“, has already over 270 virtual “experiences” loaded into its atlas, from simple “sand boxes (literally made like a sandy desert) to simple work plans, up to good quality installations, some of which created by Italian users like Colpo Wrexler or Christower Dae, known names to the Italian community which used and still use Second Life. egyptian tomb Sansar Studios

    Sansar, first impressions

    The “first 30 seconds impression” (after a couple of minutes of waiting needed to load the scene) is positive: the avatars to chooose to start having your own digital identity in the new Linden Lab‘s virtual world are not very dissimilar to the Second Life basic avatars, but they are already quite customizable enough since you can vary the parameters for yours shape and anatomical details (eyes, hair, mouth, nose etc), as well as your clothing (certainly we are far from Second Life’s fashion virtuale fantasy, but give time to the platform to grow and you will see that we could get to similar or superior levels). Sansar tomba egizia ingresso

    Sansar can also be used without VR devices

    Browsing (we tried the platform in worst-case conditions, ie through a portable PC, a couple of years old, connected through wi-fi, with features barely in line with the minimum recommended requirements) is sufficiently fluid, even if not available at the time of testing a VR viewer and its controllers and having decided to try a minimal configuration, even without a mouse, it was not always easy to move the avatar inside closed environments. Very nice the sounds and the lights (and their shadows).Sansar tomba egizia prima stanza

    The Egyptian tomb is perfect

    For this very first “immersion” in Sansar I choose, through the proposed scenes, an ancient Etyptian tomb, carefully reconstructed thanks to a partnership with the Sorbonne University and with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (as already revealed by Inara Pey) very pleasant to visit, albeit relatively modest. I can not comment for now about the larger dimensions that will characterize each individual “experience” compared to Second Life’s sims, but if you think about how SL was in its early stages, before 2007 (and how it has basically remained Opensim), the passing of a decade is evident and in favor of Sansar, as obvious as it is. Sansar tomba egizia seconda stanza

    No: Sansar won’t be SL 2

    For those who are asking for it, no: Sansar won’t ever be a “new” Second Life (platform designed to stay online for many years), but it could become a platform robust and flexible enough to be used, along with other programs, for the development of virtual video games or movies, or simulation experiences that might be applied both in the field of education both in the professional field (for instance for staff training). Sansar tomba egizia uscita These first impressions live from Sansar end here, also because the California company is asking not to divulge too much information about it, but if you wanna know how this will end continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      Sansar cover

      Here we are: sthese day Sansar is sending the confirmation to access requests for its online virtual reality platform to all those who have asked to be able to access through www.sansar.com site. Technically is the awaitedopen creator beta”, in fact it could be a real pre-opening to the public, given the criteria for selection seem to have been much wider compared to last year when a few hundred creatives had been able to access to start testing the system (still in development: at this time, for example, the alpha channel is missing, as well as dynamic textures, Which means in the new Linden Lab‘s virtual world there is no way to recreate water).

      Sansar loginSansar’s system requirements

      Probably the requirements for accessing the new platform will do the selection: a user who connects via a pc“regular” pc desktop needs to have at least a 64 bits operative system (Windows 7 SP1 or newer), DirectX 11, Cpu Intel Core i3-2100 or Amd Phenom II X4 945, at least 4 GB RAM, at least 3G free space on disk, a video card Nvidia GeForce GTX 450, or Amd R9 280, or Intel HD Graphics 5500 with at least 2GB dedicated video memory.

      Recommended bandwith is at least 10 Mbps the minimum 5 Mbps, optional, but recommended a microphone for voice chat and high-quality headphones recommended for an immersive spatial audio experience and Xbox One or Xbox 360 game controllers (but if you don’t have them you can use the mouse to controll your avatar). By the way, if you really want to “live” Sansar in virtual reality mode, the stalk rises and minimum requirements are: Cpu Intel i5-4590 or equivalent, at leat 8 GB RAM, at least Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent video card, while everything else remains the same.

      Sansar sandboxSansar and Second Life are really different

      The VR option is actually one of the cards on witch Linden Lab focus to make Sansar “the” the new generatin reference platform for virtual worlds fans, a platform which for many years will live with the “oldSecond Life but which will have many differences both in the business model (it will cost much less to rent the new “scenes” in confront to the old sims, also having much more space available, but Linden Lab will apply a sort of “consumption tax”, ie a commission on every transaction between users, the Sansar dollars will also worth around triple than Linden dollars, since the first listing should be 1 US dollar for 100 Sansar dollars) as well obviousley as it is concerned the technical and “immersion” characteristics.

      The problem upstream, which seems to have curbed Linden Lab so far, is that the sales of VR viewers and controllers for now I have grown so much less explosive than forecasted, due to very high costs of the devices. Some recent signals show the availability by the manufacturers (like Facebook, which owns Oculus Rift) to reduce the price of devices, but for now some consulting firm like eMarketer forecast that 10,7 million VR users (ie who used at least once a month a VR device of any kind) present in the US at the end of 2016 won’t exceed 22.4 million at the end of the year, and then climb to 36.7 million next year and to 49.2 million at the end of 2019, also thanks to the spread of lso thanks to the spread of VR videos.

      Virtual reality, no boom for now

      Encouraging numbers, but they represent only between 3% and 5% of the US population and yet it is not clear if on other markets (Asia?) sales may be better, or slower. Moral of the story: for now, if you want, try to ask for access to Sansar, begin to get used to its scenes, if you are creatives try to make some content (which must be created externally using programs like Unreal Engine or Unity and then imported in Sansar).

      But do not wait a boom like that of Second Life in 2007: that will eventually arrive in two or three years if the VR and the AR have really got their feet around the world. If you wanna know how this will end continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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        Dee Dee Deepdene Cover

        Sometimes looking at the over 69,000 images of virtual realities in the Flickr group Mondi Virtuali – Virtual Worlds I’m struck by the style of a specific artist. It is the case of Dee Dee Deepdene, who has always been one of my favourite “graphic dreamer”, an artist able to create really sexy but never crude images.

        Dee Dee, sexy artist never crude

        Dee Dee created hundreds of images for tens of albums on Flickr, most of which devoted to her electronic alter ego, a “perky” blondie, but even to some of the most iconic locations among those created in these years on Second Life platform, such as Kowloon or Midian City.

        Dee Dee Deepdene

        10 years of images and poses in Second Life

        After having created images for over 10 years using Second Life’s editor, Dee Dee has opened some times ago a little store to sell poses with the brand DeePosed (you can visit it in world or on the Second Life Marketplace), so you can buy her over 700 poses, used to create her stunning images.

        Dee Dee Deepdene dances alone

        By the way: Dee Dee, as herself has explained so many times, is not a “professional” photographer, therefore she doesn’t realize images on commission, she doesn’t collaborate with other artists, she doesn’t use model if not herself. Without further ado: enjoy a little sample of the wide production of Dee Dee thanks to our gallery.

        If you like these images and you would like to see more, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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        World of details cover

        Melusina Parkin get back to exhibt in Second Life some of its shots, at Time Portal, with A World of Details exhibition. I’ve known Melusina Parkin for many years in Second Life, since she was the general manager of the virtual fashion brand MEB Fashion. World of details by Melusina ParkinWorld of details by Melusina Parkin

        Melusina Parking, art photos and furniture

        Melusina always had a good taste, a passion for details, for furniture (she is also the owner of MeluDeco), for art photography. She can capture and recreate the very best of what she sees in Linden Lab‘s virtual world no less than draw lesson from real world, especially regarding art decò style of the beginning of twentieth century. World of details by Melusina Parkin

        Time Portal’s exhibition

        I found since the beginning her landing on Time Portal a “natural” choice for Melusina, who unfortunately, like all of us, has less and less time to devote to virtual worlds and the art of photography due to her busy schedule in real life.


        Go and see the exhibition is definetly a good idea both for graphic art both for virtual worlds fans for that too, so just push the “teleport” button below and have a nice trip, with a hint of imagination too. For all of you, meanwhile, a sneak peek thanks to the gallery that you can see above. Have fun!

        Teleport

         

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          Long Journey cover

          It happens to read about interesting locations on Second Life, Linden Lab‘s 3D social online platform. Recently Inara Pey talked about a small virtual location, Long Journey, just 7 thousand square meters where Yang (brand owned by the builder Sun2idea) recreated a small coffee-house, a railways platform, a cute old house-boat and many other creations some of which you can find on sale on Second Life Marketplace.

          Long Journey Second Life

          Visit Long Journey in Second Life

          I decided to make a visit to Long Journey and I must say I’m happy that I did it, even just to take some snapshots of the nice location that Sun2idea was able to set up.

          Second Life Long Journey - 2

          I hope that you like them and that they will lead you to visit Long Journey of your own, since as Inara Pey says, “creativity in Second Life doesn’t always require an entire region – Full or Homestead – in order to be realised”.

          Long Journey Second Life - 3

          I couldn’t agree more, therefore I reiterate the call to visit Long Journey in Second Life. By the way, you can even look up many of its details on its Flickr’sgroup.

          Teleport button

           

           

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            Time Portal Meludeco Cover

            Tardis near Melu Deco shop at Time PortalSome days ago I heard that a friend of mine, Melusina Parkin, had reopened a Melu Deco store in Second Life so I have gone to make a visit.

            The sim where she reopened her lovely vintage furniture store is Time Portal, owned by Jo Yardley, well known to all Linden Lab virtual world’s fans for having already realized Berlin 1920.

            Time Portal, for time travellers

            Time PortalTime Portal is a location thought for history fans and all those who love time travelling (it is no coincidence that near Melu Deco store there is even a blue blox that Doctor Who fans, who are numerous even in Second Life, immediately will recognize to be a Tardis) and according to me is worth a visit a even if you just wanna take some virtual photos or, even better, to buy some vintage andretrò items with which you’ll be able to set up your own “old timely” photographic set.

            Information on Time Portal and Melusina Parkin

            If you wanna know what can you find in Time Portal I suggest you to visit the Flickr’s group dedicated to it, then if you want to better know Melusina Parkin, who besides recreating vintage furnittures is even a appreciated virtual photographer, you can look up her images on Flickr or directly on her Facebook profile.

            And you don’t now waste time anymore, go to visit Time Portal and if you passed by Melu Deco you can tell that you discover it on Mondivirtuali.it and greet Melusina Parkin on m y behalf! Cya!

            Teleport button

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              new jessie cover

              We revealed you some tips about how discover the coolest localions in Second Life also through social media and online communities. The best way remains however having a good network of relationships with fans of virtual reality / virtual worlds who can offer you so many cool ideas.

              Torley’s useful suggestions

              This is exactly what happened to me thanks to Torley Wong (aka Torley Linden), a former techno musician and current designer for Linden Labs, author of 400 tutorials and independent videos on Youtube, who on Flickr recently posted some images taken in a new sci-fi themed sim, New Jessie.

              New Jessie, sci-fi athmosphere

              Curious, I went to see it and I suggest to you to do the same: colors, atmosphere and details are fantastic and won’t miss to impress all the fans of digital graphics, since it could constitute a fine setting for fashionists and virtual photographers. To go to New Jessie you just have to push the teleport button below, have a nice trip!

              Teleport button

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              destination guide second life cover

              The most frequently asked question in Second Life (ok: the third most frequently asked, besides “wanna have sex with me” and “how can I earn real money in Second Life”), especially by users with a minimum of “seniority” as regards the use of Linden Lab‘s virtual world, is certainly: “do you know any cool place to visit?”.

              How can you find cool locations in Second Life

              To be true in Second Life there are a lot of places worthwhile a visit, even if periodically some ot these disappear, as recently happened to Insilico and Mount St. Michel.

              To pick your way, there are at least a couple of good ideas, besides following periodically the tips that you can find on Mondivirtuali.it.

              Insilico destination guide second life

              The first way is the most simple: through the site Secondlife.com or, once logged in Second Life, use the web search engine, go into the “Destinations guide” and you will find a selection of the coolest virtual locations divided into categories.

              Good ideas on Facebook, Flickr and Koinup

              If you don’t trust the judgment of Linden Lab, there are also many groups on Flickr devoted to the gathering of images from the most intriguing locations of Second Life.

              One of the most recent for instance is SL Tourist Board which requires to those who add a new image to add always the Slurl (i.e. the location coordinates, so you could reach it easily), another one is SL Places to be.

              Mount St Michel destination guide second life

              Even on Koinup you can find similar groups, like Second Life Explorers or like Evocative Landescapes where btw not always images are linked to location’s Slurl (but at that point you can looking for with Second Life’s viewer inner search engine).

              In Facebook, last but not least, there is the community Photograph location directory of SL where you will find a lot of good ideas. Now you no longer have excuses not to explore thousands of virtual locations still existing in Linden Lab’s virtual world, so what are you waiting for?

              If you wanna keep updated about virtual reality, virtual games, creativity and geek technologies, keep following Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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              virtual worlds high fidelity vs sansar cover

              Years come and go but the question remains always the same: what the virtual worlds are concretely useful for? Virtual worlds like Second Life, that despite it’s not to the top of the fame anymore still attracts 900 thousand players a month, Sansar, the new Linden Lab‘s project that should start its open beta between next December and January, or High Fidelity, the new adventure of Second Life’s “daddy”, Philip Rosedale, that last April 27 aprile started already its open beta with 69 virtual worlds online at the moment.

              High Fidelity wanna be the new web

              virtual worlds: high fidelityAn univocal answer has yet to be established, as confirmed a recent article on Wired where Rosedale has confirmed to believe that High Fidelity could become, as Second Life should have been, “the new web”: “”High Fidelity is the internet. High Fidelity is not a company or a thing. High Fidelity is the net”.

              That’s why High Fidelity is peer-to-peer, it was designed as a system of interconnected servers to realize a virtual world even wider than the real one, intended to resolve two of Second Life’s most persistent problems,  scale and latency (since Second Life was built on Linden Lab’s servers it suffers of persistent lag problems and can’t host more than 40 avatars contemporarily in a single sim), making money by charging a fee for domain registration, i.e. by acting as a “GoDaddy for VR”.

              Open or closed platform

              In order to do that and to give way to the people “to build anything they want” this time Philip Rosedale decided to develope an open platform, the opposite of Second Lilfe and of what has decided to do Ebbe Altberg with Sansar, developed as a closed platform for single experiences, to make possible to realize a crowd of virtual settings on small scale.

              Alberg has invested a lot on Sansar, directing it towards VR as soon as Oculus Rift was bought by Facebook in March 2014 for 2.4 billion dollars: “we knew that people were going to want to create content” for VR in massive quantities, which right now “it’s too damned difficult” underlined Linden Lab’s Ceo on Wired.

              Sansar, not connected settings

              virtual worlds: SansarLess defined of in terms of graphic details, Sansar compared to High Fidelity appears to be based on a consumer-facing approach rather than a geek approach and as if in the case of the Philip Rosedale’s platform even Sansar wants to give the possibility to players to create their own VR content, its settings can be replicated, not connected.

              Basically if two school group are visiting the VR reproduction of an Egyptian tomb, both can contemporarily wander inside, but they won’t be seen and they won’t interact among them because they will be in two identical but separate settings. Spaces that, like the current internet sites can be owned by big corporations or by individuals.

              A different content management

              Even VR content management will be different between High Fidelity and Sansar: while in High Fidelity users will be able to create and modify contents inside the platform, just as Second Life users do today, in Sansar it will is necessary to create or to modify the contents to the outside, for then to import them in the platform.

              On the other hand this will reduce the necessity to memorize contents and will make useless the same idea to have to install and to interconnect servers among them as for Second Life (and High Fidelity). More similar to a game and less to the properly said virtual worlds, maybe, but Sansar will be enjoyable from that vast mass of consumers who doesn’t necessarily care to create contents, but rather to enjoy of it.

              What virtual worlds are for?

              virtual worlds: Second LifeAltberg and Rosedale regularly meet, to discuss of their own projets and of corresponding visions about the future of virtual reality, they are “frenemies” according to a definition of Altberg.

              Who knows if comparing themselves they will succeed in finding an univocal answer to the question: what virtual worlds and virtual reality are for, other than to realize beautiful graphic contents?

              Till now with a million VR headsets sold still nobody is able to say it for sure, nor to ensure that, passed the initial enthusiasm, you don’t forget VR as already happened at the end of the eighties.

              If you wanna keep updated about VR and geek technologies, keep following Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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