ME and Ophelia

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"We Are Past the Point of No Return"

Via matthewgood:

The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life. - Independent

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 1/17/2006 0 comments

Sunday, January 15, 2006

3-D virtual world with in-world currency, the Linden dollar

Read Welcome to Second Life by Dean Terry - copied here for future reference, incase the link breaks or site disappears.

Welcome to your Second Life, your new virtual world awaits you! The hope of a new life, free from all the real people you know and the sorry state of your own appearance. You can look like you've always wanted to look! Plus, no smells!

Oh, but wait. First this guy wants to put his hand in your pants.

And this is just what happened to a student of mine as he entered Second Life for the first time. Second Life is an online world that allows you to own virtual land and engage in various business and interpersonal activities: flirting, gambling, building things, groping, etc.

While I'm not opposed to groping in an of itself, and I'm certainly not against online worlds, this quite common event shows just how far these worlds still need to go.

In the near future most people will have multiple avatars in multiple, interconnected worlds engaged in all manner of activities - not just games and diversions.

And just as the pornography industry blazed many an Internet trail, so too will they work out the kinks (so to speak) in online worlds. In Second Life you can go to stripper bars and watch naked pixel women writhe before you in all their herky jerky, motion captured glory. If you give them Second Life currency, they will do other things for you.

One of the big problems with these worlds at the present time is that they are all privately owned, commercial ventures. Yes this will move the technology and the ecology of virtual culture forward, but certain areas will be ignored, such as shared spaces. The immersive digital commons.

For this we need an open-source movement in virtual worlds. One they are available, people will want virtual "rooms" and they will want to interconnect them, just the way they interconnect now with flickr and facebook, and all the other social software tools. People will connect their spaces organically, like the blogosphere, free from any overarching dictator - which is exactly how online worlds are governed now.

Once we have real public space in online worlds then we'll have an online world worth entering.
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What is Second Life?

it is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by nearly 100,000 people from around the globe.

From the moment you enter the World you’ll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you’ve explored a bit, perhaps you’ll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

You’ll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.

The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world currency, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online currency exchanges.