Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Kickstart This: Dual Universe, Single-Shard MMO With Voxel-Based User-Generated Content
Dual Universe is an intriguing MMO on Kickstarter which has everything to fit my gold standard of a next gen MMO: It's single-sharded, it enables voxel-based user-generated content, and it puts the focus on emergent gameplay in which player behavior impacts the world in unpredictable ways.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Palmer Luckey's Plan to Give Poor Virtual Reality Gets Trump-Powered Viral Boost
Thanks to author Joanne McNeil and journalist Tim Maughan, my Wired article excerpt highlighting Palmer Luckey's plan to give the world's poor a better (simulated) life through VR was shared last weekend by William Gibson, Clay Shirky, and a bunch of other heavy hitters. The funny (in a sadly ironic way) thing is, when it was actually published by Wired last February, it provoked scarce a murmur. Like everything nowadays, it only garnered interest when Trump got involved.
Some favorite Tweets on the topic below:
Transferring Second Life Content to Sansar is "Make-or-Break" for Sansar (Comment of the Week)
Second Life brand owners have been uncharacteristically quiet about Project Sansar, and reader "Rei" has a good explanation why:
Sansar is a total wait and see proposition for me. The inventory to transition [from SL] is huge. For example, I love Blueberry's stuff. (Probably to the tune of $50+ over the past year.) While I cannot expect Blueberry to care too much about that, they cannot really expect me to spend lots of money to get the same stuff back [in Sansar].
Looking at my own content (mostly buildings and landscapes) I do not have much desire to work on old stuff just bring it into Sansar, where presumably I will pay Linden Lab more to sell it. Nor am I willing to pay money to bring it in to Sansar to restore former SL clients' inventory.
I am sure the predicament is not lost Linden Lab:
Top Five New World Notes Posts from Last Week!
- Palmer Luckey's Support for Pro-Trump Group Reminds Me of His Support For Pacifying the Poor With VR
- How to Create 360 Panoramic Shots of Second Life for Twitter & Facebook
- SL Brand Owners: Tell Me If You're Setting Up in Sansar
- Top SL Game Developer Making Games for High Fidelity
- Virtual Worlds "Real" Enough Now (Comment of the Week)
Friday, September 23, 2016
Palmer Luckey's Support for Pro-Trump Group Reminds Me of His Support For Pacifying the Poor With VR -- UPDATE, 7:10pm: Luckey Posts Confusing Apology on Facebook
Now burning up my social media (not to mention the Oculus Rift subbreddit) is this jaw-dropping report from The Daily Beast that Palmer Luckey has been secretly funding a pro-Trump organization founded by some uniquely noxious online racists:
Along with Luckey, Nimble America was founded by two moderators of Reddit’s r/The_Donald, which helped popularize Trump-themed white supremacist and anti-Semitic memes along with 4Chan and 8Chan. A questionnaire to become a moderator at r/The_Donald posted in March had applicants answer the questions “Is there a difference between white nationalism and white supremacy?” and “Was 9/11 an inside job?”
... Before becoming directly involved in the process, Luckey met the man who would serve as the liaison for the nascent political action group, and provide legitimacy to a Reddit audience for later donations without having to reveal Luckey’s identity: Breitbart tech editor and Trump booster Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulos, of course, is also one of the official/unofficial leaders of GamerGate (which seems to have mostly matriculated to backing the Trump cause), while Breitbart was developed into a haven for white nationalists by chairman Stephen Bannon... who now leads Trump's campaign. I'm actually not entirely surprised by this news, as I've often seen Luckey write or Tweet things which seemed supportive of Gamergate and/or Trump.
The real curiosity, to me, is the virtual one: How much does Luckey's support for Trump relate to his views on virtual reality, and its importance to society? One clue might be in this passage I wrote for my Wired article last February, which was abbreviated in the final copy, but here's the original, unedited version:
Thursday, September 22, 2016
How to Create 360 Panoramic Shots of Second Life for Twitter & Facebook
This is a screenshot from Second Life with a difference -- it's 360 degrees. If you can't get the full effect on New World Notes, click through to view (and spin around in) on Twitter:
Pretty cool way of presenting more immersive depictions of the virtual world on the "flat" Internet. As the Tweet suggests, this is possible through a device created by Microsoft's Jim Reichert, which he recently made available for fellow SLers on the Marketplace here.
Avatar-Based DJ Becomes Mixcloud Chart Topper
If you're one of the many users of MixCloud, a hugely popular music streaming site for DJs, you might have noticed that this particular DJ was recently listed as #1 in the ElectroHouse category:
... which is somewhat surreal, because London Callin only exists as an avatar in Second Life, and her mix was recorded in an SL club:
"SMASH is a club on the Whiskey sim, full standalone sim, split between residentials and the club venues. I DJ a twice-monthly residency there as well as other irregular themed sets, etc," as London tells me. (Click here to visit the sim.)
Among thousands of DJs on the site with millions of listeners, how did London Callin hit the top of the charts?
Using Virtual Reality Seems to Enhance Dreamtime Reality
Fascinating story from The Atlantic:
Could regular forays into virtual reality actually trigger lucid dreams, too? A survey Gackenbach conducted in conjunction with her study finds a correlation between heavy Rift usage and increased dream lucidity. Participants, including both Rift developers and gamers, described having increasingly lucid dreams as they spent more time immersed in virtual reality. “I seem more in control of my dreams now and am somewhat aware that it is a dream,” one technical writer reported.
This makes intuitive sense to me, since many VR experiences, like Tilt Brush, already feel like lucid dreaming. If this phenomenon scales to the wider population, it may turn out to be one of the most interesting and worthwhile use cases for VR:
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
SL Brand Owners: Tell Me If You're Setting Up in Sansar
We know that top SL game brand Madpea is setting up in High Fidelity, we know that top SL fashion brand Blueberry is too. But unless I missed it (and that's quite possible), not a single SL brand has yet announced plans to set up shop in Linden Lab's upcoming Sansar. (Even though a majority polled say they planned to do so.)
So this is a call: If you own a well-known SL brand and you're planning to launch in Sansar soon, please let me know. Post in Comments below, hit me up in any of these social/SL channels listed here. I'd love to know what you're planning.