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NASA wants a MMOG

01.21.08

Recently NASA published a Request for Information for developing a massively multiplayer online game. The virtual world would be aimed at students and would “simulate real Nasa engineering and science missions”. According to the RFI, “A high quality synthetic gaming environment is a vital element of Nasa’s educational cyberstructure”. “The MMO will foster career exploration opportunities in a much deeper way than reading alone would permit and at a fraction of the time and cost of an internship program.”

According to the document, games are becoming more and more important in education and could be useful for teaching a range of skills. “Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity,” it says.

The document calls for a game engine that includes “powerful physics capabilities” that can “support accurate in-game experimentation and research”.

NASA is already present in Second Life, mainly aimed at interaction with interested students and scientists.

The deadline was 15 January so for those who would have been interested its too late i am afraid.

6 Business Models for the Metaverse

01.20.08

Digado wrote a very nice article about possible business models for Virtual Worlds. In short, those are

  • Inworld Economy: buying and selling virtual goods
  • Business Integration: conferences, meetings, brainstorms.
  • Brand Presence/Avartising: presenting your real life product, service or brand in a virtual world.
  • Content Creation: thats what we are doing :)
  • Services for Virtual Entrepreneurs: tools that make business in virtual worlds easier, like SLexchange and OnRez<
  • Create your own Virtual Environment: branded virtual worlds like Mattels Barbie Girls

Just thought it was a nice piece to share!

Teaching pupils with special need on the Teen Grid

01.17.08

For Waag Society [Lost in the] Magic Forest developed a complete island on the Second Life Teen Grid for the project Self City. The goal of this educational project has been to test a new method for teaching pupils of the Special Needs education branch from the age of 12-14. Many pupils have such a social-emotional or very light mental handicap, that they cannot function properly in a group. One of the goals of special education is to lead these youngsters back to regular education or a work situation. Most of the existing methods are not suitable for this group of pupils, as they are developed for groups.

We developed a complete city on the island with a movietheatre, (fake)gambling hall, basketballcourt and a Heads Up Display (HUD) to assist the pupils in their interaction (see screenshots). The scientific findings of the new teaching method in Second Life have been gathered in this report (Dutch only): Research Report Self City

selfcity.jpg

selfcity_sl_hud.jpg


Duran Duran Second Life Machinima

01.09.08

For the Duran Duran‘Falling Down’ Video Mash-Up Challenge” a machinima movie has been shot in Second Life. It’s a great video that contains shots of the official video for the track as well as artwork of the new album. If you look closely you will see familiar places in Second Life such as Extropia Core, Maya, MetaXpand and many others. Check out the video below:

Oh and if you look closely you might recognise me as well :)



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