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VWN Resource Database: Augmenting Virtual Existence
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Resource Database > Augmenting Virtual Existence
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Alternate Lives
 
For many, the persistent virtual realities available today, just are not immersive enough, or do not cater to their needs, or are just too plain demanding for their hardware. Almost any virtual environment can be upgraded, beyond it?s maker?s dreams, by modifications and enhancements put in place by the user.


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ActiveWorlds (11)

Locally Hosted resource
ActiveWorlds Expo 2006 - The Aftermath
The ActiveWorlds Expo 2006 was the first of its kind. An attempt by the ancient, but dying VR platform ActiveWorlds, to revitalise itself, and bring new blood into its eleven-year-old social VR environment. We take a look at what went right, and what went hopelessly wrong, so others can learn from their mistakes.

Locally Hosted resource
ActiveWorlds Expo 2007
The ActiveWorlds exposition 2007, a vast improvement on the previous year, marks the second firm attempt to showcase the potential of the ActiveWorlds codebase, and breathe new life into an aging platform. We look at how it fared.

Locally Hosted resource
ActiveWorlds: Avatar Overriding
VR is not just a chance for you to choose how you would like to be seen, it is a chance for others to choose how they would like to see you. To assign you a form other than the one you chose, and see you in that form, without you ever needing to be aware they are doing it. Simply overriding their perception of you, to be something different.

Locally Hosted resource
ActiveWorlds: Local Caching a world
Any user of dial-up who has accessed the VR codebase ActiveWorlds for any length of time knows this problem: You download the world, then the computer locks up, or the browser crashes. You restart, only to find out you have to download the world from scratch again, as the datafile the program uses for downloads, corrupts if it is terminated unexpectedly.

Locally Hosted resource
Adding Immersion in Activeworlds: Simple NPCs without Bots
One of the problems with wandering through a massive persistent world that can be many hundreds of square miles across, is the silence of it. After a while, no matter how beautiful the landscape, how awe-inspiring the view, the sheer bleakness of it all is going to get to you. If you are wandering alone, and have seen no other human participants, then it all starts to feel like dressing for "apocalypse now".

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Enzo Loves You
ActiveWorlds Gate 5.0 launched on November the 26th 2009, in readiness for the launch of ActiveWorlds 5.0 on December the 1st 2009. This is one of the more disturbing images. For, there are eight rooms off of the main concourse, most of which detailing expansion possibilities and newcomer help for ActiveWorlds. Given persistent losses in the userbase, and various political tensions between the users and developers, it seems that there was not enough content to fill all eight rooms, and two of the ones greeting you initially are empty.

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Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Out To the Entertainment Dome
This screenshot shows that even the oldest and most sluggishly updating of active virtual environments must move with the times. The platform is changing to keep up with it's competitors, albeit in the most minimalistic way possible. Incremental changes to augment the virtual environment over time, and keep pace with competitors; not over shoot them.

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Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Showing the Rooms
ActiveWorlds' gateway shows off it's resource rooms for creating your own virtual world on their platform, and links to third party instruction manuals for coding bot programs to increase the realism.

Locally Hosted resource
Platform Comparison: Moove Vs ActiveWorlds
A direct platform comparison between Moove, and ActiveWorlds social VRs. Moove and ActiveWorlds are both social VR platforms, each taking a different route at giving its userbase a virtual reality experience for the alternate lives carried out within.


ActiveWorlds released it's 4.1 codebase in early June 2006. This was a radical departure from previous versions, with focus on collaborative interactivity, and realistic effects.


Locally Hosted resource
Will Never (Active Worlds)
The Will Never series each look at one virtual world administration, and things they say they will never do, or have discovered do not work, and will never do again. They make an interesting comparison between the major social VR experiences, and their relative levels of success.



SecondLife (7)

This book is basically a watered down version of it?s companion book ?Scripting Your World: The Official Guide to Second Life Scripting?. It would be better to buy that instead.



Scripting is the spice of Second Life, and this official guide to the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) is the complete scripting resource for making your Second Life creations come to life, interacting with players, creating dazzling special effects, and adding realism to the virtual world.



Second life?s official guide printed book is a novelty in internet-based virtual world platforms, as it is written by those who create the platform itself. It even has a foreword by Philip Rosedale, CEO of the company. It is also eternally hopelessly out of date, as the book?s revisions cannot keep up with the VR?s.



Linked resource
Second Life: Virtual Economy Key Metrics, Feb 2007
A compilation of key metrics for Second Life population data, released by Linden Labs for anyone desiring to set up within this environment. Data is in Excel format.

This book is of mixed usefulness. Its an official guide, endorsed by the people behind Second Life, and teaches the specifics of setting up a business in Second Life, running with their systems. In that way, it greatly simplifies the task.



Linked resource
The Tech Lab: Philip Rosedale
The BBC talk to Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, on the technological innovations he has personal interest in.

Locally Hosted resource
Will Never (Second Life)
The Will Never series each look at one virtual world administration, and things they say they will never do, or have discovered do not work, and will never do again. They make an interesting comparison between the major social VR experiences, and their relative levels of success.



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Generic Virtual Augmentation (7)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Augmented Virtuality
Locally Hosted resource
Changing Self Perspective with VR
A key set of experiments building on the rubber hand illusion, have opened the floodgates for full sensory immersion - proving that the brain will identify with the body it perceives itself to be in, not necessarily the body it is housed in.

Linked resource
Console Portraits: A 40-Year Pictorial History of Gaming
Forty years ago this month Ralph Baer, who fled to America from fascist Germany, built and played the first home-video game. Called the "Brown Box" the prototype-console was a nondescript unit powered by D-cells and wired to a black-and-white TV. This picture list from Wired magazine charts the development since then, into the modern immersion box.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Islands in the Sky
This screenshot is of the ActiveWorlds Gateway world version 5.0, which went online on November the 26th 2009. Here we see a view across the laputa, or flying island that the world is styled as, to the far side of the island, where two more such laputa are flying in the sky behind this one.

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Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Sea of Sky
This version of the gate is a laputa, a flying island in an eternal sea of sky. There is no land to speak of, no terrain. At the edge of the island is an abyss plummeting down forever - well for a full kilometre anyhow. Also new is the forcefielfd preventing anyone from stepping off. A feature of other, less expansive worlds with lesser technology, the creators of this new entrance world have decided to artificially create such a limitation here, where there never was one before.

Locally Hosted resource
PC Specs for Virtual Worlds: General
In order to appreciate the true majesty of any virtual environment, you require the most apt hardware for displaying sensory data that you can afford. For the most part, this article is directed towards home uses of VR. The home user with a seven-year-old office computer, who can barely access a modern virtual environment, lagged to death and not understanding why.

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The Difference between FPS and Lag
Participants in modern internet-controlled, heavily graphics-orientated virtual worlds often confuse fps and lag. When an area cluttered with graphics, and a complex drawing area slows down, all too often people say that the area is laggy, or their Internet connection is not sufficient to handle it. This is patiently untrue, and continued perpetuation of this idea leads people to invest in hardware they do not need, which has no effect on the problem.



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Moove (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Platform Comparison: Moove Vs ActiveWorlds
A direct platform comparison between Moove, and ActiveWorlds social VRs. Moove and ActiveWorlds are both social VR platforms, each taking a different route at giving its userbase a virtual reality experience for the alternate lives carried out within.



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Old Augments (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Doom: An Indicator of Change
A look at Doom, the iconic videogame that acted as a killer application for 3D first person and multiplayer immersion for the mainstream, back in 1993.






 



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