Good Coverage of Second Life

Inara Pey has an article up titled: The Verge: an astute look into Second Life. Inara is discussing the article and pointing out its highlights. The article was written by Chris Stokel-Walker, have no clue who Chris is. But, Inara points out and I agree it is a well written article fair to Second Life. If you want to show someone what Second Life is about this is a good article to point them to. See: Second Life’s Strange Second Life.

The Verge (the blog publishing the article) seems to be a tech news blog or may be more accurately a techie’s news blog. I haven’t seen it before but it does look interesting. They do some fun stuff with the images in the article.

I find it interesting that Caliandris Pendragon came from the Myst games. She started with Riven advanced to Myst Online: Uru Live (MOUL). She came to Second Life when Uru closed the first time in 2004. I have a similar background. But, I came when Uru closed the second time in 2008.

There are two or three groups that players from the Myst games hang out in. The group I prefer is the D’ni Refugees. They do karaoke and have lots of parties.

I find the article amazingly well-balanced. Check it out.



Why Games Succeed –

A researcher working in the game THERE has written a thoughtful article about her findings. For those of us interested in what makes a game tick and succeed or fail it is a great read.

In-Depth: Requiem For A World

For those of from the Myst-Uru community it has special interest as Celia studied the community of Myst-Uru that fled into THERE when Uru closed. The result was a book: Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds

Another Step in the 3D Internet

Various groups are working on ways to turn the Internet into a full 3D virtual world. The Guardian (UK based) has just written about one effort. One group, which the Guardian article by Victor Keegan fails to name – cause it has no name, is creating software that uses public information to make a 3D model of the entire planet in which your avatar can walk. (For a better write up than the Guardian see the same Victor Keegan’s blog: Building the planet – on a tight budget) You can see an example of it in action on YouTube video below.


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Blue Mars Developer’s Tools Review

Blue Mars Developer Tools

Blue Mars Block Editor

To create things in Blue Mars one must become a developer. So, how easy is it to register? No problem. How easy is it to build something in Blue Mars? Not very.


First, one registers on the Blue Mars site and gains access to the Developers’ section of the Blue Mars web site. The tools needed to build things for Blue Mars can be downloaded from within the section. The developer is getting a sub-licensed copy of CryEngine 2 MOD SDK*. Easy enough. Blue Mars is supposed to offer more control over ownership of created items. From the look of the info on your personal developer’s page it looks like that will be the case.

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Blue Mars Review & Tips

Blue Mars Open Beta

Desktop Icon

I tend to agree with Kanomi of Tiny Dancing in her funny post about Playing Blue Mars. It’s for boys. I registered weeks ago and watched my email and the spam folder too. Still no invitation. I opened a yahoo email account using a boyish name and four days later I have my invite. That could be coincidence. …right.

Updated 10/13/2009New Blue Mars Review Stuff Here
Updated 12/17/2009Blue Mars Goes Open Beta

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Blue Mars Beta This Month

If you have not heard, Blue Mars is a new virtual world using current state of the art tech, described as a Next Generation Virtual World. It will be along the lines of Second Life, with significant differences. It is in Beta now and at the end of August the Beta will expand to a larger more open Beta. Tools for learning to build within Blue Mars are available now.

One of the bigger differences is content creation. Property rights are supposed to be better protected. Builders are more controlled. There are 3 levels of builders/creators, City, Block and Content. It seems a City builder is somewhat like the SIM/Region owner in Second Life (SL). A Block creator is more like a Parcel Owner in SL. Blue Mars (BM) block builders are restricted by the city builder they lease or rent from. Pricing to join any of these groups has not been released.

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Bloggers Beware – FTC Control is Coming to a Blog Near You

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

The FTC is planning to start regulating blogs. If you make money from your blog or Twitter micro-blog then you will be affected. Since the administration (America) loves to pass huge bills containing over a thousand pages written in legalese and submitted at 3AM and requiring a vote within 5 hours (I swear Obama said we would have at least 5 days…), we have no idea what we are getting. There will be possibly hundreds of pages tacked on just before the vote is called that no one has read, which is common practice now.

If these laws get passed, likely, they could go into effect by the end of summer 2009. So, is it little me they are after? No… as best I can tell. Big businesses have seen the benefit of using blogs. They are the target. But as incompetent as government is there is no telling what we will get. So, paying attention to what they are doing is important.

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