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Archive for the ‘Virtual Worlds’ Category

As 2010 approaches, I’m changing the nature of this blog from a review of virtual world news to a vehicle for my new art galleries that exist in the Second Life virtual world.

It’s been a desire of mine to create my own collection of classic works of art since I opened an account with the Second Life platform. However, my work as a writer in that same environment has kept me too busy to build the galleries. It’s also been the case that my real life has been somewhat turbulent over 2009 and my virtual life activities have diminished. I now concentrate on my involvement with SLentrepreneur magazine, MBC News, and the Metaverse Tribune. If I can slip in the occasional piece for the Alphaville Herald or Prim Perfect, that’s all well and good, but I’m trying not to overextend myself.

So what will you find at the Leominster Galleries?

The Leominster Galleries

Galleries I through III represent my permanent collection. By that, I mean that the works of art found there will rarely change, and any changes are likely to be small – such as replacing one Waterhouse painting with another just for variety.

And the works you will find there are predominantly 19th century paintings from such artists as John William Waterhouse, John Martin, Elihu Vedder, William Adolphe Bouguereau, Thomas Cole, John Collier, and many others. However, they do extend into the early 20th century and go back to the 16th but if you are a hopeless Romantic or Symbolist, the Leominster Galleries are definitely for you.

Sigs in Gallery I

Gallery IV will be reserved for my “traveling collection,” by which I mean there will be different exhibitions on a monthly or bimonthly basis, offering a complete change of scene based on my whim. For example, opening in January will be “The Illustrators Collection,” a number of renderings of engravings and images by such illustrators are Kay Nielsen, Gustave Dore, and Edmund Dulac.

Each Gallery IV exhibition will be supported by this site, with links to related sites and notes and comments from myself and possibly guest commentators.

Copies of any of the paintings can be purchased at the gallery, which won’t make me rich but go toward sustaining the galleries. By all means just stop by, spend some time, and then leave – I won’t be offended. Oh, and I am looking for a cool logo for the galleries so if you are a talented designer and want to help a dude out, just leave a comment or IM me in-world.

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TweetCraft is an in-game Twitter client for World of Warcraft and a Microsoft Coding4Fun Project. With it, you can send/receive Tweets, upload screenshots, and even AutoTweet in-game achievements!

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People who play in the virtual world of Second Life (R) need to get a real life, yes? After all, it has to be full of pathetic losers who have no friends except the other pathetic losers they find online.

So how isolated do you have to be if your best friend in Second Life is a dog. Or put another way, a scripted bundle of pixels that moves in response to manipulating coding variables.

Well, Freeta Kayo appears to have done a great job in showing how it can be done. In a YouTube video entitled You Are My Sunshine, Ms. Kayo cavorts around with her canine companion, a well-scripted German Shepherd.

It’s worth sitting through the cloying cheese to catch the very, very end of the movie – the easter egg following the credits. Well, I thought it was funny!

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Nielsen Games released its March 2009 data for top console usage and PC game titles with Playstation 2 and the role-playing game World Of Warcraft again topping their respective lists.

Top 10 PC Game Titles: March 2009
RANK Game Publisher Avg. Min Per Week
1 World of Warcraft Blizzard Entertainment 653
2 Second Life Linden Lab 760
3 Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Ubisoft 582
4 Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword 2K Games 668
5 Bookworm PopCap Games 169
6 Half-Life 2 Vivendi Games 313
7 Civilization IV 2K Games 332
8 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Blizzard Entertainment 213
9 Chessmaster Challenge PlayFirst 54
10 StarCraft Blizzard Entertainment 334

Source: Nielsen Games – GamePlay Metrics™

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Dental students will soon be adding virtual world simulations to their training procedures. Thanks to researchers in Sweden and the US, a new piece of software called the Virtual Dental Implant Training Simulation is now in beta testing.

The Virtual Dental Implant Training Simulation is now in beta testing, and set for rollout next fall, when it will reach about 15,000 dental students in 25 universities around the globe that partner with Nobel Biocare of Sweden, the project’s funder. Developed by Maryland-based game developer BreakAway in concert with the Medical College of Georgia, VDIT uses entertainment technology to simulate real-world scenarios.

Serious gaming, as it’s called, allows players to enter the virtual worlds of the military, corporate training and health care, and gain experience before they tackle real-time problems in the real world. Dr. Roman Cibirka, Vice President for Instruction and Enrollment Management Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, put the wheels in motion 18 months ago, after he attended a Games for Health conference.

Primary Source: Popsci.com

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Habbo, which see more than 11 million unique users each month, today released its annual Global Habbo Youth Survey Brand Update. The study, says Habbo, explores teens’ connection and interests toward individual brands and highlights their preferences in categories including consumer electronics, music, sportswear, and games. On the game/virtual worlds front, Runescape maintained its number one status among US respondents, followed by Gaia Online, IMVU, World of Warcraft, and Club Penguin.

Top Online Games / Virtual Worlds (other than Habbo)
1. Runescape
2. Gaia Online
3. IMVU
4. World of Warcraft
5. Club Penguin
6. MySpace
7. Meez
8. Maple Story
9. Neopets
10. The Sims

Top Web sites (other than Habbo)
1. MySpace
2. YouTube
3. Facebook
4. Addicting Games
5. Runescape
6. Google
7. Yahoo
8. Gaia Online
9. Club Penguin
10. Miniclip

The study was conducted in April, 2009, collecting the opinions of some 112,000 teens between the ages of 11-19.

Source: Virtual World News

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Among the biggest time savers for living in a virtual worlds are that there is no need to wash your clothes nor attend to personal hygiene. In fact, having a bathroom in your virtual home is merely an affectation.

However, researchers at the University of Birmingham in England are among the pioneers seeking to add that little extra to our virtual experience.

Yes, pretty soon you’ll be able to check whether your armpits are clean, your partner has washed, and what exactly people have been smoking on that heaving, throbbing dance floor.

According to Rob Crossley of Develop magazine, “…the team are currently testing the smell-technology on a variety of self-made PC games based on the Half Life and Far Cry SDKs.

“(the) group have obtained numerous pots of paraffin wax that are laced with a variety of aromas. Combined, they are said to capture the smell of a wide range of locations and situations, from the cordite residue of gunfire to the burnt rubber rising from a racetrack.

“These pots of wax are placed into a boxed fan, which is fitted to a PC and throws a scent under the player’s nose when triggered by an in-game event.”

In other words, you get to smell the cordite, the napalm, and the cordite. Yum.

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