Back to the future – 15 May 2014

First article link, second article link, Terasem, Soleri City, Martine RothBlatt, Philip Linden, Giulio Prisco, High Fidelity Wiki, High Fidelity Homepage.

We stand at the point in history when technology is catching up to ambitions. When Second Life started in 2003 it was a very constrained means for Virtual Reality Realization. Betweren 2005-2009 we went through the Second Life hype, and most consumers dismissed Second Life for reasons discussed ad nauseum elsewhere.

There are several main bottleneck for Virtual Reality mass adoption, and these are all being addressed by new technologies. It looks like the main one coming out will be a confluence of the VR High Fidelity that’s currently in experimental/development stage by Philip Rosedale (the original CEO responsible for carrying through Second Life) and it is looking food. High Fidelity will bandwagon on rosy developments such as Oculus Rift.

What does this mean? It means that there is plausible argument to conclude that in the next years we’ll see Renaissance in VR development. Right now VR is nerdy, fringe, clumsy, expensive and difficult. In a few years (…) Virtual Reality will become hip, mainstream, intuitive, consumer and easy. That means that all current media, new media and internet investors will jump on the BandWagon like a murder of demented lemmings.

We learned a lot in the last nine years. I learned a lot in disparate realms of Virtual Reality, Game Design, Game Art, Interaction Design, Ergonomics, User Interface Design, Augmented Reality, Enhanced Reality and in specific Second Life. Now we all know that Second Life is on a sidetrack third rail towards its own destiny, whatever that may be. Second Life may exist for decades to come and it may even remain quite popular with a dedicated niche crowd, but it isn’t headed for mainstream use anytime soon. If we are to trust the talent of Philip Rosedale chances are HighFidelity has definite mainstream massadoption potential.

In an event in Second Life on 15 May (i.e., very soon) we will have a first of many events exploring a Virtual Renaissance. The Dark Ages of VR Denialism are ending and several major investors and entrepreneurs are in full launch mode to colonize a plethora of virtual universes.


The event will be in Second Life, on the Terasem Sim. To attend the event you need to be somewhat savvy with your Second Life client of choice. The SLURL of the event allows you to teleport straight to the venue. You need to read the above two articles (1, 2) to get what all this is really about.


The event is 11:00 am default Second Life Timezone. That translates to – 2PM EST, 7PM, GMT, 8PM EU. You might want to doublecheck however, since there occasionally is a one-hour error due to local timezones or daylights savings time. You will find a good timezone converter here.

What are the rules?

As things stand we will take it pretty safe. The event will be low-lag, so leave your trendy attachments, hair, scripts and AO’s home. People who cause excess lag will be asked to fix that, and return a bit later. You are expected to wear somewhat PG attire, and anyone not conforming to that (or not appearing to conform to that) will be removed from the event.

We thank the owners of Terasem for their continued support and friendship.

4 thoughts on “Back to the future – 15 May 2014

  1. While not as dissenting as ML, I remain highly skeptical about High Fidelity, Oculus gRift etc. Is the benchmark for progress/success mass adoption? Sure it is for $erial entrepreneurs like PR, but when was the last time the mainstream did anything but water down or outright reject anything even vaguely interesting about culture and accept, even laud the vapid soul crushing superficial one size fits all pap poisoning the watering hole all over the world? KS you seem in a particularly sprightly mood about all this. Are you switching roles with the cool aid drinkers now?

    Despite the hype it may be that High Fidelity and Oculus gRift are non-starters except for the most enthusiastic early adopters. Could it be that the VR, VW etc. community is simply so ravenous for forward motion that they will accept placing some huge piece of plastic on your face as new and original or a virtual world based on haptic feedback (sure to be a hit with cyber sexers and perhaps a few sculptors unable to cope with 3D modeling) as a leap forward?

    None of these goofy technologies solves the basic failures of Second Life such as the complete lack of understanding about what actually happened in the first and still most well populated virtual world. As the corporate kiddies managing Second Life got younger, less experienced and insightful about life (art or anything), their condescension towards even SLs most influential citizenry increased. The tendency being to treat anyone who would spend time in a virtual world to be a foolish crybaby, desperate for attention, instead of the well educated and optimistic pioneers of a deep sociological emergence that they were/are. LL simply didn’t have the faculties (or education, or desire) to understand what actually happened in SL and assumed that the sad bunnies were actually all that existed.

    And then there’s the concept of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and ghettoizing the present citizens of Second Life by simply leapfrogging to a new backwards incompatible format. This is far from productive, progressive or polite, to leave behind your best and brightest from a sociological and cultural point of view. Sure, this is typical of technology but when technology is a substrate for a thriving polity, should it be?

    With the ability to create life in the laboratory comes the added responsibility to treat this new life with respect due all living creatures. With the ability to create whole cultures should come a set of principles of equal or even greater weight, but hey, don’t look at me for that laundry list!

    So I will see you all there on Thursday, even if I will be wearing my “Skepticus gRift” helmet.

  2. Am looking forward to being directly involved in the new VR revolution and am very interested in the High Fidelity project.
    My project , to launch on Indiegogo this month, will involve converting my cyberthriller – The Darwin Factor Trilogy to a video series hopefully including some VR footage viewed through Oculus.
    looking forward to keeping in touch
    David Hunter Tow

  3. As long as Rosedale includes people from the Linden Lab team in High Fidelity team who are inherently anti-liberty, anti-economic, and anti-property, any virtual world he builds will be inherently fascistic and unattractive to the mainstream, no matter how visually appealing. Furthermore, given how consistently bad his programmers have proven to be at securing things like the money supply, and the DRM, I fully expect his economy to be badly hacked and undermined like the Continental Dollar in the hands of a British counterfeiter….

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