There’s plenty of stuff to discuss on the general topic of virtual worlds, but under the circumstances – that being I’ve not posted many entries over the past couple of weeks – I’m just going to post some links in no particular order and add a short comment to each.
Google Earth Enterprise Version Update Released – this wouldn’t normally catch my attention, but combine my earlier post (reLink) with breaking news concerning the gPhone (Link) and this upgrade takes on some potential relevance.
MyAbodo is Cyworld for Green Living – funny how this coincides with Treehugger’s acquisition by the Discovery Channel’s parent company (Link).
VirtualWorldsNews Interview: Hui Xu, HiPiHi Founder and CEO – more talk of 3D web standards. I’m betting the Web3D.org folks are fuming. I also got a chuckle out of Suezanne’s comment… as if.
The Demise of Second Life? – there’s been so much crap written about Second Life lately it’s refreshing to hear someone like Paul Hemp air a little common sense. It’s certainly better than what Wired’s Chris Anderson had to say (Link). Be sure to read the comments on Anderson’s blog though; some excellent points are raised… though of course if you’re reading my blog not all of them will be new.
Wikia & Playxpert Offer In-Game Wiki Widget – this is a cool development. I could definitely see something like this meshing nicely with educational uses for virtual worlds.
Avatar meets AR with ARTag – this is pretty sweet. It also reminds me of some comments exchanged on a recent post (reLink). I’ll be taking a closer look at ARTag (which reminds me of Reactable and SLorpedo – reLink).
Multiverse Launches Platform for Creation of MMOGs – Mashable’s headline is a bit deceptive imo since, as we all know, Multiverse’s platform has been available for development for some time… even if it wasn’t “1.0”. This is, however, a noteworthy milestone. Also covered elsewhere: Virtual World News (Link) and Raph Koster’s blog (Link) among the one’s I’ve read.
Mod is Dead: Beyond the Red Line – I became aware of this
mod total conversion only a few months ago. The intellectual property issue – they’re building a new, fan-initiated videogame using the enormously popular but essentially dead Battlestar Galactica property (series is set to end this season) – is of particular interest to me. This is one I’d like to see get the Coca-Cola treatment (reLink).
Extremely Happy Feet: Disney Acquires Club Penguin For Up To $700 million – just another day in the Acquisitions department.
CryENGINE 2 for Entropia – I’ll admit I’ve mostly panned the stories regarding Entropia’s push into China (maybe it’s the “sweat collecting” activities newbies have to endure that’s affecting my behavior), but this one is too interesting to ignore. However, like I’m sure many others have mentioned, is the target user’s machine ready for the graphics challenge? is the download going to balloon? I don’t know. Guess we’ll see. The engine has certainly impressed me (reLink). Wonder if this has anything to do with the earlier news regarding IMAGTP (reLink).
Sharkrunners: Realtime Data Used for a Game – if this had been my article, I’d have used the phrase “Realtime, Real World Data” since I find that to be a key idea worth calling attention to. Of course Forrest’s comment in the piece was what really sticks: “As sensor networks increase, I think that we can expect more games like this to appear.” Had I taken the time to post something earlier, I might have used an example such as a game where players have to monitor an oil containment buoy’s sensors in order to effectively direct its proper placement thus ensuring maximum containment (reLink), or monitor tiny sensors on a bridge (Link) and determine the best way to improve the overall infrastructure given limited resources.
Video Game Matches to Be Televised on CBS – I would have liked to have seen this but as I was traveling I didn’t get the opportunity. Personally, I think this will start to take off. Between the kids who’ve grown up with the technology and the seniors who are embracing it (and maybe each other – Link), I’d say this is as interesting as some reality show about two has-been Cory’s.
Virtual terrorists – so idiotic it must be ad-bait. And for anyone thinking it might be a real concern, bottom line: for now, it’d be more effective to mod a more realistic videogame and run a private training server than use the very public Second Life. The article is good for a laugh, though.