Wednesday, 26 March 2008


I knew I was in the wrong when I used Linden Lab's hand/eye logo as part of the logo for my Second Friends Facebook application. Dunno why I did it, apart from the fact that it looked quite nice.

Oh well, with the dawning of the InSL era, I've had to redesign everything :-(

The new logo doesn't look to bad, though it's not as nice as the version with the SL hand. Such is life I suppose.

I don't mind being told that I can't use their logo (I did try asking if it was OK but never got a reply) and I recognise that it was my bad for using it in the first place. Sorry LL. But I do object to being told how to write 'Second Life'. It's a dumb move by LL and I don't understand it. Remember when Google tried to tell us that we couldn't use 'google' as a verb' Well, duh!

MindBlizzard has a nice summary of some of this.

Stop press: I'm hearing rumors via Twitter of a blog strike if LL don't clarify the situation in the near future.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

HTML on a prim vs. Texture at a URL

Kisa Naumova tweeted this earlier today:
If there was one thing I would like from SL, it would be to be able to use external images as textures, and not using the media URL. PLZ
Spot on... I couldn't agree more. This would be very neat and would, I think, be far more useful than the current direction in which "HTML on a prim" is taking us.

Using SL for student recruitment

19th March 2008 will see a world first when Liverpool Hope University throws open its doors for students from across the world to visit its virtual campus in Second Life.
Interesting idea... though I'm surprised it's a "world first" - I'm also surprised there aren't problems caused by the SL vs. TSL divide - perhaps everything is being replicated in both worlds?

See the press release for details.

Impact report now available

I blogged a while back about the work that Silversprite Helsinki (John Kirriemuir) is doing for us looking at the issues around measuring the impact that SL is having on education. This is part of the series of snapshots he is doing for us... but helping us to move beyond simply counting beans, instead looking at whether whatever is happening in SL is having any useful impact on learning.

A report entitled Measuring the impact of Second Life for educational purposes is now available.

Friday, 7 March 2008

HTML on a prim takes a step closer

I'm not as convinced by HTML on a prim as I used to be.... nonetheless, the announcement by Linden Lab that it is now possible (albeit with some limitations) is interesting and is bound to cause quite a stir.

I think the act of having to explicitly 'play' the content, meaning that others around you may not be seeing the same thing as you are, is problematic (as it is with streamed video currently but even more so I suspect).

It'll be interesting to see how things develop.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Smoking my cigar

Oh dear! It really was a Hamlet moment and if I owned a cigar I would have ended up smoking it.

Whilst I applaud the SL Shakespearians for their attempt to put on Act 1 Scene 1 of Hamlet at the SL Globe, I can't help thinking that all they've done is demonstrate how far we are from being able to realise this kind of production in the SL environment currently.

Not that it is in any way their fault... but the combination of lag and the current state of the SL voice client meant that SL just wasn't up to it.

I'm sure that there are interesting theatrical things that could be done in SL, probably based on some combination of improvised chat and dynamic object creation, but this wasn't it.

I watched and listended painfully for a few minutes, then gave up. It's not even worth showing you a photo... nothing had rezzed properly by the time I left, at least not in my client.

Sorry... did other people have a good time?

A sorry state of affairs

I don't know the full details but this story seems like a sorry state of affairs to say the least :-(

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

On gender...

There's a short piece in today's UK Guardian (the online version is longer) by Bobbie Johnson (who is one of the speakers at our symposium this year by the way), reporting on a study undertaken by staff at Nottingham Trent University which looks at gender swapping in online games.
The research, in which 125 players of complex computer games were questioned, found that women were more likely to switch their gender than men.
The article goes on to explain why players like to experiment with their gender in these kinds of activities. The reasons tend to break along gender lines, as you'd expect, with women typically adopting a male role to avoid unwanted attention or because they feel it makes them more equal with other players, while men want to "flirt with other players and explore a different side of their personality".

There's a follow-up piece in the Guardian Technology blog which suggests that in the context of online gambling, some men adopt a female role because they think that will make it easier to separate other players from their money. Sigh :-(