Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Videos: Historical View of Older Virtual Worlds

The Internet Archive has more than 100 older movies of various virtual worlds, MMOs, and games.  A wealth of knowledge about the past. See Virtual Worlds Archive.

Second and Final Call (Till May 30) Virtual Worlds: Technology, Economy, and Standards (Journal of Virtual Worlds Research)

All the deadlines and technical detailes are listed here:

This is the second and final call for submission for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research - Vol 2 Issue 3 on the theme of Virtual Worlds: Technology, Economy, and Standards

In this special issue we are looking to examine the often hidden relations between technology, economy, and standards in the specific field of Virtual Worlds.

Second Call quick deadlines. (see all details here)

30-May-2009 – You submit an updated or new abstract.
15-Jun-2009 – We send initial response.
All the deadlines and technical detailes are listed here:

Issue Editors
  • Dr. Yesha Y. Sivan, Metaverse-Labs Ltd. and Shenkar College
  • J.H.A. (Jean) Gelissen, Philips Research
  • Prof. Robert Bloomfield, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
From the first call we got (and tentativly accapted) papers re:
  • Langauge Standards in virtual worlds.
  • What technology and standards we need for virtual labratories.
  • The economy of Piracy vs Control: Various Models of Virtual World Governance and their impact on Player Experience
  • Virtual Worlds Standards : do we need them?
  • World of Warcraft, AOL, and the Disneyization of a Niche Market
  • Payback of Mining Activities Within Entropia Universe.
  • Measuring aggregate production in a virtual economy using log data.
  • Virtual Worlds standards: view from the trenches (of someone who is doing it).
  • and more... (Note: All first call authors were notified already).
We are relatively open re the abstract format:
  • Make it 1-3 pages (1 full page in condense form is fine... but do not limit yourself).
  • Use the first page to tell us the gist of your submission
  • what is the format ("full research papers, research-in-brief papers, “think-pieces,” essays, monographs, interactive online exhibits with accompanying detailed descriptions, and other forms of scholarship).
  • Try to answer how your proposed work relates to the concepts of Technology, Economy, and Standards.
  • List other relevant papers or theories.
  • Try to share what is unique about this submission.
  • Overview
We assume that:
1. Virtual Worlds are destined to become big; big in the sense of meaningful, influential, and making money for various current and new players. Every aspect of our lives will be affected by virtual worlds. Beyond being another media, Virtual Worlds will be part of our regular lives, they are going to enhance, improve, and better our quality of life. Much like the internet, virtual worlds will allow us to do “traditional” things more effectively, and do other things anew.

2. Real Virtual Worlds are defined as an integration of four factors: 3D view of the world Community, Creation, and Commerce (AKA 3D3C). The more we have of these factors the closer we get to real virtual worlds. In that sense IMVU, Second Life, and Entropia are more Real Virtual Worlds than Club Penguin, World of Warcraft, and SIMS on-line.

3. “Standards” as a concept and mechanism are often misunderstood. People often link standards with competing concepts: open and free on one hand and propriety patents, limitation of creativity on the other hand. Like many other human constructs, standards are not inherently good or bad – what you do with a standard gives them value: be it good or bad.

4. Currently the virtual worlds industry operates more like the Computer Gaming Industry than like the internet industry. Each developer, be it private (e.g., Linden, Forterra) or an open source (e.g., Sun Darkstar, OpenSim) is developing its own server, client, and rules of engagement. The inherent rationale of these efforts is a combination of “we know best” and “we will conquer the world.” While this may be the case (see Microsoft Windows, Apple iPod, or Google search), the common public good calls for a connected system like the internet, where different forces can innovate in particular spots of the value chain.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
  • Specific standards or family of standards that can impact virtual worlds.
  • Economic analysis of specific standards for specific firms.
  • Discussion on Privacy, Authentication, and related issue (for example Open ID).
  • Legal Aspects of virtual worlds that can be set in the technical specs.
  • Review of relevant technology platforms, their pros, and cons.
  • Case studies of large-scale standardization efforts (Windows, Linux, GSM) and the lesson learned from them to virtual worlds.
  • Visions of the virtual world’s universal access system (network and station).
  • Comparing related terms such as working code, for and not-for-profit efforts, open source, formal systems.
  • Key places were standards matter (looking for the mouse and windows of virtual worlds) in other words the interfaces to and from the real (physical) world.
  • Economic analysis of various externalities in the field.
  • Winning stories of standards in the field (be it private, public, open, etc).
  • Example of wrong standards, failed standards, and other things to learn from.
  • Short term winnings (VRML) vs. Long term value.
  • What do we need to add to current standards so they will be used in virtual worlds (ISBN 3D? OpenID3D? etc).
  • The impact of open standards on close systems (Android); the impact of propriety technology (iPhone).
  • Connection various legal formats (GPL, LGPL) and new technologies (i.e., Grid/cloud for virtual worlds).
The editors of this issue specifically encourage short papers on specific examples (past, present, or future). If you need to use Jargon or acronyms please spell them and explain. Assume the readers are versed with various aspects of virtual worlds and not necessary with economy, technology or standards. The link to real virtual worlds should be clearly spelled. Papers will influence the development of MPEG-V (the official ISO effort to develop global standards between real and virtual worlds.

Guidelines and Deadlines 
We welcome submissions in the form of full research papers, research-in-brief papers, “think-pieces,” essays, monographs, interactive online exhibits with accompanying detailed descriptions, and other forms of scholarship.

All the deadlines and technical detailes are listed here:

Monday, April 20, 2009

CONTIL: Case Study of Virtual Worlds for Museums - at the Virtual LEM Conference

The second annual “Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums (VW LEM)” Conference will be held in Second Life on Friday and Saturday, April 24 & 25, 2009.

Purpose of the Conference: To provide a gathering place for librarians, information professionals, educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds.

See details at the site.

My Talk (together with the Artist Dr. Ilana Salama-Ortar) will present a work in progress that explore how Art can be Done in virtual worlds. We will review 10 different states of artistic expression that push the medium of both art and virtual worlds.

Location & Time:

Sat, April 25
Track 3 (Museums & Misc.): Yesha Sivan. “CONTIL: Tunnels/Containers 2: Case Study of Virtual Worlds for Museums” (Location: Land of Lincoln -- see SLURL -- more details as I get them)
9:00 AM SLT (San Fransisco Time)
7:00 PM Israeli Time.

*** Update ***

Hi, Everyone.
The VW LEM Conference begins later today at noon SLT.  I thank everyone who will be presenting, facilitating, exhibiting, and sponsoring this conference.
The main conference venue is Infotainment Island (  At various spots on that venue you can pick up a notecard containing the conference schedule with landmarks to each location, a conference t-shirt, and a lanyard. 
Here's the line-up of presenters, venues, and venue managers. 
A few presenters (highlighted in blue) have not yet accepted my invitation to join the VLEM2009 in-world group.  
IMPORTANT:  You need to accept that invitation and make that your active group in order to get onto the conference sims today and tomorrow. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Computer Generated 3D Ball Music Machine Complete Version

Cool 3D ... music machine playing...
"A Computer Generated 3D Music Machine that plays a good tune with drums, guitar , piano, chimes, cymbals, bells, and many other musical instruments using lots balls. ~This is the complete version! Meaning nothing has been cut!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Video: 11 Screen Naked Lady Playing Violin

Virtual Naked Lady playing violin. 11 Screens. Virtual Art made out of 11 screens. Is there a tool to make this things automaticlly?

Friday, April 10, 2009

How I made my Avatar to look like me: Cyber Extruder

I just came back from a Metaverse1 workshop in Spain. Many people have asked me how I made my Avatar to look so similar to me... well it was simply. I used Cyber Extruder. The following video describe the entire process in Second Life lingo. The technical side of it is fascinating: Using a reagular flast 3D passport picture (with good light) to make a 3D representation based on similar model. See also the

Last year the company has received a patent., Inc., a software company specializing in the field of computer vision, has been granted patents from both the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The patents, entitled "Apparatus and Method for generating a three-dimensional representation from a two-dimensional image," protect the company's process for automatically creating a 3D model of a person's head from just a single 2D image.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Khronos, Muzilla and Google Launches Open Standard for 3D on the Web

In response to a proposal from Mozilla, Khronos has created an ‘Accelerated 3D on Web’ working group that Mozilla has offered to chair.

Khronos, one of the leading forces in 3D graphics (Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™.
According to the press realease:
This royalty-free standard will be developed under the proven Khronos development process with a target of a first public release within 12 months. Any interested company is welcome to join Khronos to make contributions, stand for chair, influence the direction of the specification and gain early access to draft specifications before public release. The working group will consider various approaches including exposing OpenGL and OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities within ECMAScript. The Khronos Accelerated 3D on Web working group will commence work during April 2009. More details on joining Khronos can be found at
Google seems also to be connected with this effort according to this news item:
In a statement, Google engineering director Matt Papakipos said: "With more and more content moving to the web and JavaScript getting faster every day, the time is right to create an open, general-purpose API for accelerated 3D graphics on the web."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tactile Jacket for Virtual Worlds by Philips Research

Philips Research, a Metaverse1 member, has just released a new version of their Tactile Jacket.
According to the IEEE spectrum:
This week, researchers from Philips Electronics plan to describe a jacket they have lined with vibration motors to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer’s emotional response to what the characters are experiencing.

“People don’t realize how sensitive we are to touch, although it is the first sense that fetuses develop in the womb,” says Paul Lemmens, a Philips senior scientist who will be presenting research done using the jacket at the IEEE-sponsored 2009 World Haptics Conference 2009, in Salt Lake City.

The jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators distributed across the arms and torso. The actuators are arrayed in 16 groups of four and linked along a serial bus; each group shares a microprocessor. The actuators draw so little current that the jacket could operate for an hour on its two AA batteries even if the system was continuously driving 20 of the motors simultaneously.

So what can the jacket make you feel? Can it cause a viewer to feel a blow to the ribs as he watches Bruce Lee take on a dozen thugs? No, says Lemmens. Although the garment can simulate outside forces, translating kicks and punches is not what the actuators are meant to do. The aim, he says, is investigating emotional immersion.

The key to this technology is the fact that activating the Jacket is done via a virtual worlds (or even a simple DVD). The codes are stored and activated at the right time and intensity. This is one of the core areas of connecting real and virtual worlds as reflected in the future MPEG-V standard.