Tired and croaky: busy day yesterday

I’m tired and slightly croaky after a long day yesterday. As Andy already pointed out, much of it centered around NMK’s My So Called 2nd Life conference at 01Zero-One, right in the middle of Soho.

Once it got underway, the speakers were:

  • MMOs: where are they now, and where are they heading? – Michael Smith
    Michael (the CEO of Mind Candy, the makers of Perplexcity) spoke on MMOs (including Habbo Hotel, Cyworld, Second Life, Virtual Laguna Beach, etc. He also talked about ARGs (Alternate Reality Games)  and tangible stuff. Afterwards, we chatted about the growing phenomena of tangible web things. If Perplexcity is a tangible virtual world it’s interesting to see Moo‘s Flickr cards (I see they’re doing Skype cards now too!), The Friday Project which brings websites to print, Fabjectory‘s 3d-printed avatars as a growing trend.

  • Collaborative and innovative working inside virtual worlds – Andrew ‘Roo’ Reynolds
    That would be me then. I explained the impact virtual worlds such a Second Life are having on business and how some companies are already using them to work collaboratively on a global scale. My (by now fairly well-practiced) talk on what virtual worlds are and why IBM cares was just as informal and conversational as ever. I pretty much managed to forget that there was a gaggle of press in the room (Reuters, BBC, New Scientist, …). Hence, Adam from Reuters got some pretty choice quotes which sounded (at least to me on the first reading) frighteningly casual. πŸ™‚
  • The artistic, creative & entertainment opportunities inside MMORPGs – Esther MacCallum-Stewart
    An academic (but interesting) overview of MMORPGs. She pronounces MMORPG “more-peg”, which is a new one on me. I’d like to see a copy of Esther’s slides, as there was some really good theory about what makes MMOs work.
  • E-learning business opportunities inside virtual worlds – Gauti Sigthorsson
    Gauti, while enjoying Second Life, does not think it can be used for e-learning. Apparently it’s too hard and the barrier to entry is too high (“it’s a gated community due to its resource intensive nature and the skillset required”). He has a point with this stuff, and it was an interesting counterpoint to the more gung-ho speakers (e.g. almost all of the rest of us).
  • Business opportunities inside Second Life for creative industries – Justin Bovington
    Justin (Rivers Run Red) shared some of the history of business and marketing in Second Life, along with some of his interesting projects. Vodafone, Penguin books, Duran Duran, BBC, Adidas, Reebok, … quite a list. Justin said two of the major milestones of Second Life have been the BBC event (“the Woodstock of Second Life”) and the Reuters office. Both of these events have been responsible for driving up the population of Second Life very quickly.

There was then a Q&A panel session, in which we were joined by Jim Purbrick (Babbage Linden; the only full-time Linden employee in the UK). As you can imagine, Jim got a lot of questions. πŸ™‚ He said some very encouraging things about Open Source, and opening up the client (and eventually the server). Adam’s Reuters piece covered this pretty well too.

I met a lot of interesting people, got to know some people a bit better. Thanks to NMK for inviting me; I really enjoyed myself. Today I am croaky and barely have any voice left. Probably a good thing so I can shut up for a while and catch up on what I was missing having been off the net for a day. πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “Tired and croaky: busy day yesterday

  1. Excellent summary of the event, Roo – and a pleasure to meet you at My So-called 2nd Life.

    Just a small correction regarding my own presentation: I do think Second Life can be used for education purposes. There’s already very interesting e-learning activity going on there, and I’m all for it. My point was simply that there is a large gap in the e-learning market that is not filled by SL or any similar platform right now.

    I fundamentally like Second Life as a participant, but in the presentation I used it (and WebCT) as examples to show what some of the opportunities and challenges are right now for software developers interested in creating a 3D environment that is accessible and lightweight enough to use in mainstream education and training.

    In that sense I’m more interested in what Second Life could become than what it currently is – both technically and politically. That’s why it was very encouraging to hear Jim Purbrick (Babbage Linden) talk about the potential open source future of the system, possibilities of integrating it into Firefox extensions, etc.

  2. Pingback: Mobil Avenue » Blog Archive » The Times They Are a-Changin’

  3. Pingback: What’s Next? » Blog Archive » NMK conference: “My so-called 2nd life”

  4. Pingback: eightbar » Blog Archive » More press for IBM in virtual worlds

Comments are closed.