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Posts Tagged ‘Virtual World’

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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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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NCsoft has released a new teaser video for its currently-in-beta world, Aion. They hope to release the game in North America “soon,” which was originally slated as “2009.”

The world of Aion is described on the Aion web site as “a shattered world, separated into two halves with the Abyss between them.” Players will be able to take part on both land and aerial combat and engage in intense raids and other encounters with computer opponents, not to mention the opposing player faction.

Players can choose to be a member of four classes, with the option to move on to two more specialized classes once they attain a certain level of capability. These are Warrior, Scout, Mage, and Priest. You can customize your character in a multitude of ways with a thorough character creation and crafting system, as well as detailed item customization options.

Primary Source: Aion home

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Being a cute, cuddly animal in a virtual world seems to be standard fare these days. Without doubt, leveraging the appeal of penguins has been a successful marketing strategy over the past few year. The Disney(R) Club Penguin acquisition in 2007 cost an estimated $700 million and the user base at that time was 12 million. That’s no smal change for a small, flightless bird!

But if you’re tired of being a penguin, you can waddle on over to Pandanda.com and start a new life as a panda. Traditionally, pandas have also scored high on the cuteness scale but apart from Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda, it would seem that pandas have been relatively unexploited by the marketing world. Pandanda hopes to change this.

Pandanda is the creation of Sunleaf Studios, which was formed in Spring 2007 by several veterans of the software game development industry. According to their home page, Pandanda is “an online multiplayer web based game for kids. Pandanda provides an exciting and fun “playground” on the internet where kids will be able to meet up and chat with their friends as well as meet new friends in a fun and safe environment. Featuring a vast virtual world for exploration, interactive games, and ongoing new content, players will always have exciting adventures awaiting them.”

Currently, Pandanda is in beta so you can sign up for a free account and explore the world. Although there is no date set for the conclusion of the beta period, Sunleaf suggest it will be “at least several month.” When that happens, the plan is to offer paid subscriptions for one month, six months, or one year.

Sunleaf Studios is located in Redmond, Washington.

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Sulake is an online entertainment company focused on virtual worlds and social networking. Currently these properties include virtual world Habbo and social networking service IRC-Galleria. However, the company has just announced a beta-test version of a new virtual world, Bobba, designed for mobile phones.

Bobba on a Nokia

Bobba on a Nokia

Currently it is available for a number of Nokia phones but an iPod version is in development. Both Bobba and Habbo are developed and published by Sulake, but Bobba is a service and brand of its own, and you have to be 16 years or older to use Bobba.

Antti Vilpponen of ArcticStartup said of his first experience using it; “I did have a chat with some of the other Finnish users in the service and liked the way the chatting worked. Unfortunately, that is then again pretty much the only thing I really liked in the service.”

He goes on to say that the “real downside I felt, that is still understandable – is the flow in the service; what do I do once I have set up my room, how do I find friends (I was unable to friend any of the other users), how do I decorate my room?”

Despite these limitations, he did say that “I guess I’m too eager – the service is in its early public beta.”

Primary Source: Bobba Home page

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RayGun™ is promoted as the first application to provide what the creators, Planet 9 Studios, call “Social Navigation.” It combines GPS tracking, route finding, friend finding and social networking functions all within a state of the art 3D interface. Developed originally for Boeing and the US Army, RayGun is robust and scalable. Users and their friends are shown in their correct locations so that they can share routes, text chat, share photos and videos or use the new push-to-talk feature.

RayGun currently has over 150 3D city models showing locations in Europe, Asia and the USA. It is in private beta but you can sign up for future updates.

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Sony Online Entertainment has released an official teaser for its “in beta” game, Free Realmz. The world is billed as “a free 3D virtual world with stunning unique graphics and fun, quirky activities. Free Realms is an attitude. It’s innovative, dynamic and deep.”


The splendid flash video on the site pretty much sums up the concept – and has a voice-over narrated by some top-hole chappie with a simply marvelous accent.

So if you’re wanting to get your pixie on, you can join the beta site and do all those yummy things that pixies, elves, wizards, trolls, fairies, and similar medieval mythologicals can do. But be warned, signing up as a beta tester has its perils. Here’s the spell cast by the Sony Stormtroopers:

“As a Free Realms beta tester, you can’t talk about what you see as a tester. That means you can’t chat about it with your friends, share screenshots or videos, or write about it in your blog or your favorite social networking site. It’s important that we have the chance to fix things that are broken before the whole world sees them. Please help us out and don’t talk about anything you see in the Free Realms beta test until beta testing ends.”

This, presumably, includes journalists, as I found when I clicked on the site’s “Latest News” button and was told that I had to sign up as a beta tester to see it, ergo, I couldn’t then talk about it!

Primary Source: Free Realmz home page

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