Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cliffordb Makes the Konstrukt

Old Cliffordb's interview with Baba Yamamoto made the The Konstrukt online magazine.

Check out the latest issue of The Konstruckt [HERE].


Ok, this next article is related to some adult subject matter. I've been pondering addressing how the adult nature of Second Life will affect how it is used by "serious users" like ourselves (edu's, gov's, ngo's, etc...). Every decision maker who ponders the serious use of Second Life should be aware of the adult content that exist in the second life virtual world. The following Terra Nova "cybersexdaq" article is an funny eye opener about the adult nature of Second Life for the uninitiated. It doesn't have any pictures but has a few bad words, so I will call it semi-work safe. Check out the article [HERE].

Also please note, on our islands we have some controls in place (banning, freezing, controlling who has access to our Second Campus Islands, etc...) to keep adult activities out of our areas. Yet we can't keep students and faculty ON our islands...they can go off on their own time. Just as at home on the web people are free to do what they please while at work or at school they cannot. Perhaps Second Life will add additional restraints that can be tied to avatars (i.e. avatars that can only enter PG areas). But I wouldn't expect this soon.

SL First: Currency Speculation

Ok, not really a first, but with this new currency exchange described in Rik Panganiban's blog [HERE] you can do Linden to Euro to dollar to whatever type of cash exchanges. Let the virtual speculation begin.

SL First: The First SL Millionaire (Besides Philip)

Another post about Anshe Chung (yawn). Her virtual holdings make her worth over a million RL $$.

Read Terra Nova's spin [HERE] and the Anshe's press release [HERE].

The Numbers

The following Second Life Insider blog has an interesting graphic showing the seemingly logarithmic increase of new user registrations for Second Life this year. Check out the article [HERE].

Thursday, November 16, 2006

CopyBot and Intentions: Bad Baba

Here is a transcript from some of the chat in the #libSL channel (IRC?...Doesn't look like an SL IM format) posted on Cristiano midnight blog. Baba Yamamoto graciously allowed me to interview him yesterday. He came off as just a programmer that was just figuring out how the Second Life communication protocols worked and he and his group had no malevolent intentions with CopyBot. Cristiano's post sheds new light on the mind set though, and it isn't all good. I understand programmers boasting about their creations, especially when they discover something as monumental as the ability to copy objects in game, but I think Cristiano's post puts things into context that at least the libsecondlife group had a clew about what they were unleashing. I also think it is ironic that someone copied the text of the #libsl chat and replicated it :) Check out Cristiano's Blog post [HERE].

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Interview with Baba Yamamoto about CopyBot

You may have recently heard about the CopyBot in Second Life. It essentially allows users to copy anything into their inventory with full permissions applied, or at least that is how the story goes. The CopyBot is causing mass panic among vendors in Second Life, who are worried individuals will use the CopyBot to copy their creations that took them many hours to develop and then resell them for almost nothing.

Well, my boss Ricardo Sprocket asked me to look into CopyBot today, and find out what exactly it could and couldn’t do. So I went to the source. I talked to Baba Yamato who administers the website. Libsecondlife is a code library that makes it easier for programmers to access what is going on under the hood with the communications protocol that Linden Lab uses to communicate between Second Life servers and the Second Life user client program. All code developed with libsecondlife is licensed under the open source BSD license agreement, so it is accessible and modifiable to a wide array of developers. CopyBot, a program that allows its users to copy any object in Second Life regardless of who created it and what the permissions are, makes use libsecondlife. Baba stated that the original creator of the CopyBot code never sold it in Second Life, but because the code is open source someone in-game has exploited the code to create their own version of the CopyBot which is now being sold in-game. Baba is familiar with how CopyBot works and tested out a version created by the original developer. I decided to interview him and see what his thoughts were on CopyBot. Here are a few things I learned from our discussion. And if you scroll further down you can read the entire transcript of our interview.

1) By analyzing and copying data from communications that go the Second Life client program back the the Second Life servers, you can copy anything, even entire sims. CopyBot can’t really copy an entire sim now, but the underlying way it copies objects could be used to do so. Even worse, there is no real solution for this without Linden reworking the entire protocol and essentially rewriting large chunks of Second Life. The metaphor here is similar to HTML and the web. People freaked about how you could view source on a web page and see the underlying HTML. Similarly by understanding how the Second Life communications protocol works you can view the code that describes objects and copy them, just like you can copy source HTML from web page.

2) You cannot copy scripts by intercepting communications between the SL client and SL servers. LSL scripts are never communicated to the client other then when they are being authored or modified and then only to the specific user’s client that is modifying them. Some good news.

3) The original CopyBot that someone created and is selling in game runs a script with a built in listener that listens for the command to quit. So you will start seeing in many areas quit commands showing up in the chat window all the time. This will work against the current CopyBot that some users own, but expect to see other versions that will ignore the quit command.

4) Part of the reason why the permissions on copied objects were lost was not a deliberate hack, but apparently the meta data about an object’s creator and owner is hard if not impossible to recreate by analyzing the communications between the server and the client.

Remember, when CopyBot copies things (as least as CopyBot exits right now) you are essentially copying prims and textures. There are already other programs that do similar things like Open GL intercept, so a lot of bad press that the libsecondlife is getting is unjustified. If it wasn’t the libsecondlife group that discovered how to do copy in-game objects it would have been another group. Linden Lab has known about this possibility for a long time. Baba and the rest of the developers for libsecondlife have been very open about what they have discovered and thought the SL community at large should know what they have discovered with CopyBot. The libsecondlife group has even pulled the CopyBot code from the latest code forks in their project listings on their website. Unfortunately there are other ways of going about finding the CopyBot code. And regardless, the Second Life protocol is there for anyone to look at and hack.

So what does this mean for Second Life? Well, it ultimately means that simple objects are going to be copied. Complex, scripted objects will remain viable objects to sell in the virtual world. A three prim couch maybe not so much. Is this a problem? Yes, just like it was a problem with initial web development where creators created something cool in HTML and Javascript, only to see their creations copied across the web.


[10:30] You: So mass chaos today huh?
[10:30] Baba Yamamoto: crazy
[10:30] Baba Yamamoto: people finally got together and came to our HQ to protest
[10:30] Baba Yamamoto: trying to explain open source to the average joe
[10:31] You: Well, I could act like a journalist if you want, and get your side of the story out. We have a blog at I could post what we talk about there, and I will allow you to edit anything out that you want.
[10:31] Baba Yamamoto: Muahahaha
[10:31] You: But, that is just the journalist in me, if you would like to keep it on the down low, and just fill me in, that would be cool too.
[10:31] Baba Yamamoto: whatever
[10:32] Baba Yamamoto: i am trying to be as candid as possible about everything we do with libsecondlife
[10:32] You: Mind if I post then, it will elevate me to "SL journalist" status :)
[10:32] Baba Yamamoto: hshs
[10:32] Baba Yamamoto: Muahahaha
[10:33] Baba Yamamoto: whatever
[10:33] Baba Yamamoto: I'm not worried about it :)
[10:33] Baba Yamamoto: so what's your question?
[10:34] You: So, I know a little bit about libsecondlife. A library to reverse engineer the communications between the SL Client and the Servers written in C#.
[10:34] Baba Yamamoto: yes
[10:35] You: From what I understand CopyBot is a class that uses libsecondlife to capture communications to recreate SL objects locally, then upload them back to the server, copying them.
[10:35] You: And in the process, because you are going from unix to windows to Unix again, the copy permissions are lost.
[10:35] Baba Yamamoto: yes, it does this automatically but it's essentially an import and export routine..
[10:36] Baba Yamamoto: with little effort we could write the output to xml or another format and then interpret it again
[10:36] Baba Yamamoto: not even that, it recreates the objects manually
[10:36] Baba Yamamoto: we're not capable of setting the original owner name on the objects
[10:36] Baba Yamamoto: it's hard to retain metadata
[10:37] Baba Yamamoto: there is no system in place for it within the protocol
[10:37] You: So in essence the protocol itself is wide open enough to allow for copying objects, but not open enough to retain the meta data about who built the object and such.
[10:38] Baba Yamamoto: Linden Lab is working on such a system now
[10:38] You: So what do you think about a few sim owners closer down their shops and hiding everything from view so it won't get copied? Is that even really feasible with copybot?
[10:39] You: Or is this just mass panic.
[10:39] Baba Yamamoto: ... the best way to drop their sales to zero
[10:39] You: Yeah, which sucks, and I guess that is why everyone is in an uproar about copybot. I'm just wondering if this is all over blown.
[10:40] Baba Yamamoto: i would say so
[10:40] You: And again, I would look at this as a Linden Lab problem. You guys were just being good programmers and learning how things worked.
[10:41] Baba Yamamoto: I don’t see how a person making an imperfect copy which does not retain scripts or any other object inventory with no name or brand or well known location can outsell an established retailer no matter the discount
[10:43] Baba Yamamoto: they could give away full permission object but ... what good would that do them other than grief and i still doubt it could kill sales as most people are honest
[10:43] Baba Yamamoto: i guess that's my take
[10:44] Baba Yamamoto: and if they gain any notoriety at all, it's instaban
[10:44] You: Yeah, I think all the fears are over blown. I can see how some malicious people will run around trying to copy everything, but all they will get of any use are simple objects that are mostly available for free or easily recreated anyway.
[10:44] You: Yeah, with all the hopla right now.
[10:44] You: So have any of the Lindens approached you about it? I assume they have.
[10:45] Baba Yamamoto: thre is a system in planning now that could scour the grid and compare object signatures to one another
[10:45] Baba Yamamoto: and detect possible infringement
[10:45] Baba Yamamoto: signatures
[10:45] You: That would be one way to deal with things.
[10:45] Baba Yamamoto: but I don’t think the theft will become widespread and destroy incomes
[10:46] Baba Yamamoto: too much hysteria
[10:46] Lola Frederick is Offline
[10:46] You: So how are you doing? People harassing you and protesting all over the place?
[10:47] Baba Yamamoto: i get the odd hateful IM
[10:47] Lola Frederick is Online
[10:47] Baba Yamamoto: More and more i am getting IMs from people who say "i get it"
[10:48] You: Cool. I bet as clever people such as yourself explore SL and how it works there will be times where things like this come up.
[10:48] You: I guess it is just the evolution of how this world will evolve.
[10:49] Baba Yamamoto: It's inevitable
[10:50] Baba Yamamoto: THe reason I felt the news about this had to be spread was because suddenly our library does have the ability to easily copy anything.. This was always possible with Second Life but it's now much more exposed to automation like copybot..
[10:50] Baba Yamamoto: Some people blame us for even trying to understand the protocol because it exposes these things, but I feel that if not now some time later it will happen and maybe worse
[10:51] You: I agree.
[10:51] Baba Yamamoto: The way copybot works it's just not possible to protect against
[10:51] Baba Yamamoto: totally impossible
[10:51] You: Think Linden could do something like add encryption to data streams from the client to the server or anything like that?
[10:51] Baba Yamamoto: no
[10:52] Baba Yamamoto: encryption slows things down and the key has to be available to decode it
[10:52] You: Yeah, SL is slow enough already :)
[10:52] Baba Yamamoto: breaking encryption is a full time job for some folks
[10:52] Baba Yamamoto: there is no safe encryption scheme that could work for Second Life that would not grind it to a halt
[10:53] You: So, at least for now and the foreseeable future, the ability to copy will remain.
[10:53] Baba Yamamoto: as far as I can see.. it's not something that can be fixed.. it's a product of the technology
[10:53] Baba Yamamoto: same as the web
[10:54] Baba Yamamoto: we have to know how to display the content
[10:54] Baba Yamamoto: there were the same fears when people realized that HTML was not hidden on the server
[10:55] You: What about all the quit scripts I am hearing about? How do those work?
[10:55] Baba Yamamoto: the bots were created originally had an IM command to stop the program
[10:55] Baba Yamamoto: the person who sells it never removed it
[10:55] You: Yeah, I've heard the comparison. And it is a good one. Your objects ultimately are XML describing the object coming from a client to a server if I am correct.
[10:56] You: I've got the c# class and libsecondlife, don't have the in-game bot though.
[10:56] Baba Yamamoto: we do not have an xml schema yet
[10:56] Baba Yamamoto: but it would be trivial to write one
[10:57] Baba Yamamoto: we do have an xsd transform to convert from blender format dotprim
[10:58] Baba Yamamoto: any other questions?
[10:58] You: Two quick ones then I will let you go, and again, I totally appreciate this Baba.
[10:59] Baba Yamamoto: we have a new bot template up now called TestBot it's the basic bot which logs in and accepts teleports
[10:59] You: Cool.
[11:00] You: Just for the record, you guys were the ones who made the ability to copy objects with the protocol known so that Linden would understand about this correct?
[11:00] Baba Yamamoto: they knew
[11:00] Baba Yamamoto: linden always knew
[11:00] You: See, again, it is ultimately there problem just waiting to surface.
[11:01] You: er their.
[11:01] Baba Yamamoto: and we always knew... but with this code becoming public or even just having all the proper functions in libsecondlife it becomes a critical issue that the general user needs to know about
[11:02] You: Well, now it is public and known. Might change the way designers build things, buy an object that reses other objects, stuff like that.
[11:02] Baba Yamamoto: well eventually it wont matter.. there is no reason the entire simulator couldn’t be interpreted
[11:03] Baba Yamamoto: anything that is sent to the client can be interpreted
[11:03] You: What about getting at the scripts?
[11:03] Baba Yamamoto: no
[11:03] Baba Yamamoto: never the scripts
[11:03] Baba Yamamoto: If we ever find a vulnerability to access scripts it will not be like copybot.. because that is something that can be fixed
[11:04] Baba Yamamoto: scripts are not to be sent to the client
[11:04] Baba Yamamoto: it's much like PHP on a web page
[11:04] You: Gotcha, just then end result is sent.
[11:04] Baba Yamamoto: exactly
[11:05] You: Thank you Baba. I think I understand the issues with copybot now much better. I appreciate the time. And I owe ya, if ever you need a favor in game.
[11:05] Baba Yamamoto: ;)

Massive SL Shutdowns

The CopyBot issues is causing a lot of store closures today. Go to the find and check out the popular places, many are closed. What does this mean?

Another Red Flag

I hate it when I have to question the viability of our presence in Second Life. I've got a collection of thoughts that I would like to throw down, the pluses and minuses about Second Life, as well as thoughts of what the next version of the metaverse will look like. That will come later. But the next version of the metaverse might need to come sooner rather than later. I've known about an exploit for a while that allowed any user to copy anything in the game. Here is a sample blog post by a creator of items in Second Life. When you are trying to make a living or supplement your income and these exploits come up it must really be disheartening. SL Furs recent post showing disappointment and frustration in Second Life can be found and his/her possible abandonment of Second Life can be read [HERE].

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

They Just Keep Coming

Now Dell has a virtual presence in Second Life. Check out the Cnet article [HERE].

Educators Explore 'Second Life' Online

The classroom of the future isn't on a college campus. It's in the virtual world of "Second Life." - States Grace Wong. Read more at:

Monday, November 13, 2006

IBM and the Virtual World Space

IBM is set to spend about 10 million dollars in researching business opportunities in the virtual world space in the near future. This isn't really new news, but is being reported a lot in the other blogs so I guess I will mention it. It does reinforce the fact that many RL companies are taking Second Life and other MUVE environments very seriously. Click [HERE] to check out the Reuters article.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Broadband TV Comes to SL

Looks like the BBC's Channel 4 and the Sci Fi channel have just teamed up to broadcast a TV channel exclusively for viewing with in Second Life. Check out the article from the Guardian [HERE].

Virtual Big Brother to be launched in Second Life

The TV show Big Brother is checking out Second Life for a virtual version

Check it out!

Attack of the Clones

Today I became aware of two products that might compete with Second Life on some level. The first is the much talked about finally delivered metaverse project. They have been in development for a while and have finally gotten around to an open beta. You can check it out [HERE]. I have yet to fully evaluate it, but from my initial glance it looks like you can run your own server, which is nice. On the bad side it looks like you have to develop objects outside of the metaverse with Maya or Max (no built in building tools).

Another product that kind of looks like Second Life meets myspace is Kaneva. The world looks suprisingly similar to Second Life though much more limited as far as building and poses go.

Anyway, two things to watch. If we could find a product outside of Second Life that could scale to meet the demands of having 10,000 concurrent users on at once we would be all over it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Business Week Article on RL Companies In SL

A good article about what design studios are charging big companies to enter SL. Check it out [HERE].

FAS Report on Educational Gaming

Wow, even the Federation of American Scientist are jumping on the Educational Games bandwagon. Check out the PDF [HERE].

SL First: Taxes

Yes, Australia has the dubious honor of being the first nation on earth to tax virtual income. Check out the Second Life Insider blog about post about it [HERE].

D.C. Serious Game Summit

The RL Cliffordb Hightower, Deap Tweak, and Jason Mowder were fortunate enough to go to the Serious Games Conference in Washington D.C. this past month. Here were a few of the notes I gleamed from the conference, for those who are interested.

Notes from the SGDCC in Washington ‘06

Successful Games

  • Modern game project groups usually contain around 70 people. Be prepared to hire big teams of diverse talent if you want to have the next WoW.
  • Typical successful MMORGing budgets are approaching 50 million. WoW had an initial budget of around 100 million. Be prepared to have to spend or raise large amounts of money to create a blockbuster game.
  • Successful games teams consist of a wide variety of talents including game designers, programmers, artist, project managers, etc… These groups all have different cultures and often don’t communicate well with each other. Teams that produce successful games learn how to work together to overcome these communication and cultural challenges.
  • Distribution is hard. Better to partner with a professional distribution house then go it alone.

Interesting Facts

  • Traditional entertainment like movies causes the body to relax, get comfortable, and brain patterns begin to resemble sleeping. Game play causes accelerated arousal, more intense brain patterns, and more engaged body postures. Do people learn more when they are passively or actively engaged? That wasn’t addressed but I can bet what the answer most of the time is.
  • Experiments have been done that show that gamers will use different parts of the brain if they believe that they are interacting with a “bot” or a person. Even simple things like a game where a player has to follow a ball around show that if the player believes the ball is controlled by another person the areas of the brain that typically light up during social interaction will show increased activity. Where if the player believes the ball is controlled by the computer, even though the ball moves in the exact same pattern, the areas of the brain that control social interaction will show minimal activity.
  • The more a game resembles real life visually, the more areas of the brain that are associated with social interactions will become active.
  • Professional distribution houses are constantly looking for quality commercial and educational games to distribute. They also have money. Black Board is looking hard for games to distribute to k-12.

Game Design

  • Games typically follow a pattern of players performing actions and receiving immediate feedback. This is “interactivity”.
  • Games typically have short term and long term goals. These long term goals are almost like chapters in a book. Most of the plot lines and rewards are given to players as they complete these long term goals. Completion of these long term goals give players a sense of accomplishment and reward, which encourages them to pursue the next set of game goals.
  • The short term goals are really breaking down the long term goal into manageable chunks so as to not overwhelm players.
  • Assume the right levels of gamer fidelity. Don’t assume that they should know background things that they may not, don’t plow them with information that they already know.

What Keeps Users Engaged

  • Player ownership of assets in game worlds tends to keep them around longer.
    Social interactivity and grouping keeps players engaged. But you can’t do this with a heavy hand (see below).
  • The range of engagement of players is key. If players are over-challenged, they get frustrated and quit. If the challenge gets to easy players get bored. Also the challenges must very. The more variance, the more stimulation.
  • Unfortunately the more primitive the challenges are, the more stimulated players become. The more gamers “kill” the more exciting each kill becomes vs. the longer players meaninglessly wonder around the less stimulated they become.
  • Obviously a good storyline and a well built out game environment are necessary for success.
  • Having players involved in creating or being a part of the story line keep players engaged as well.
  • Players tend to like good 2.5D or 2D graphics over crappy 3D graphics.
  • Just-in-time instruction is very useful. Players often want to get immediately into the game, and limiting the “meta” information they receive about how to play the game to just what they need to know at a given time often keeps the game flowing and more engaging to users. Many newer games integrate game tutorials into the initial plot line of the game.
    “Cheating” can be a useful tool in enhancing the players experience in the game. It is no accident that almost all modern games have cheat codes built into them. Also almost all modern games have extensive information about how to solve the games either online or in professionally published hint books. There are many different reasons why people “cheat” and the level in which they “cheat” at, but allowing some degree of “cheating” in the game can help less experienced gamers to get unstuck, allow gamers to “fast forward” past game spots that might otherwise cause them to get bored and drop the game, or to give players an entirely new dimensions of game play which keeps them engaged.
  • Games with too much cheating and obvious exploits quickly caused players to become frustrated and leave the game (a warning to Second Life).
  • There are different personality types in gaming. Some included killers, achievers, socializers, builders, explorers, etc… A good MMORPG will try to keep each player type engaged.
  • “Think outside the box…or rather think outside the game.” Don’t overlook tools outside of the game itself to make the game a success. Give gamers internet web sites, discussion boards, bling, toys, etc.. To give gamers the full emersion that they desire, even if those items end up not making to much money in and of themselves. This acts as an “emersion multiplier”.
  • You would think this would be obvious, but it isn’t. Good games research and know their audience and are constantly adapting to meet the gaming needs of their audiences.

Notes on Grouping And Socializing

  • Grouping is hard. There is something called the Halloween Effect (from the movie Halloween and the time period where trick or treating almost stopped because of an almost irrational fear people had of children getting poisoned candy). Some gamers expect their fellow gamers to really be serial killers and psychopaths. Thus there is usually some resistance to socializing and grouping within a game.
  • Because of the Halloween Effect if you get to heavy handed in trying to engineer social interactions as being necessary in games, users may drop the game. Yet at the same time grouping and social tools are one of the main sources of enjoyment for gamers once they get over their initial mistrust of their fellow gamers. So a well designed game will foster grouping and social interaction without appearing to force it on the game’s players.

Serious Game Design

  • Interestingly, game design and instructional design are very similar. Instructional design and game design are all about stimulating an audience in such a way that they learn something. Various inputs, scenarios, information, etc…are all presented to that audience in an engineered way to get that audience to learn something. Gamers try to teach users how to do something that enables them to participate in some game play that they enjoy. Instruction designers try to teach students an academic concept. Different goals, similar if not the same methodology. If you realize this, it is easier to design serious games, as you are really designing educational materials using newer technology.
  • Games must be designed to meet specific academic goals. Many school systems have standardized testing requirements that they must focus their curriculum towards. The more a game can demonstrate a direct correlation to helping the students achieve higher standardized test scores, the easier it will be to convince the “gate keepers” in schools or colleges to adopt the game.
  • Many schools have equipment that is several years behind the bleeding edge. Your system specs for your games must be reasonable.
  • The amount of time players will be able to spend on your games is limited in an educational environment. Class time constraints must be considered.
    Games must be considered in their educational context. Games must show that they both have or can be included in a larger educational framework. You must do work outside of the game including creating lesson plans that provide and educational context for the game and how it should be used, pre and post assessments, perhaps provide additional community tools where players and teachers can discuss the game, etc… Be sure to think outside the game.
  • In serious games, as with commercial entertainment games, you must research and know your audience and strive to meet there needs. With serious games you might have multiple audiences. One audience that must approve and continue to approve the use of a game in an academic environment, the students audience that must enjoy and accept the game, the teacher audience that will have to administer the game, etc… Each audience must be made happy for the game to be successful.
  • For selling serious games within your organization, it is proven over and over again that this is much easier to do if you if you can “convert” a local champion within the specific business or academic unit you are trying to have adopt your game.
  • Be careful about appearing “too sexy” in the beginning. It only encourages scope creep as your customer’s imaginations will run wild with the possibilities. Reveal what you need to in order to keep customer interest, but no more, else you will continuously make more work for yourself.
  • Again, this might appear to be obvious, but it is not. Subject matter experts must be included in creating the game. Without them it is really hard for game designers to wing it and meet the stated academic goals of the game.
  • Pre and Post assessments are critical. You must demonstrate that a game actually helped students learn. You build the greatest game learning tool in the world but if there is no way of proving it your game will not be adopted.

Books that Were Referenced in the Conference

  • Synthetic Worlds
  • The Attention Economy
  • Got Game
  • The Future of Work
  • The Media Equation

Selected Contacts

We met a bunch of people, many of whom expressed a desire to collaborate with us in some capacity if we are interested. Here are a few.


Helen ? Helen’s group does a lot in the UK with educational games in secondary schools. Her experiences and research are worth looking into. and


Byron Reeves
Leighton Read

These two guys have a company called that is trying to build tools that exploit the psychological plumbing of game play to make business applications more engaging to next generation workers. They demonstrated an interesting beta tool that uses money to manage email glut. Each employee is given a certain amount of influence money that they are allowed to spend on emails. They try to buy other employee’s attention with the “serioso” currency by attaching so many bucks to each email in order to bribe the recipient to open it. The way currency is spent is tracked, which reveals a lot of interesting details about which employees are respected by their peers, which are not, who receives the most information, who is the key to actually reaching others, etc..

Chung-Ang University in Korea

Jong-Hyan Wi
Eun-Sok Won

These guys impressed me because like Helen in England because they made efforts to do research and assessments to show that games do in fact help people learn. Some of their work in the k-12 and the college levels are impressive. They are also spear heading the adoption of serious games in Japan, China, and many other Asian countries. They hope develop a global serious gaming initiative soon and seemed to be very open to our involvement if we wished to be involved. A back door for UoP into Asia?


Mike Nelson

According to Mike, IBM has about 250 people exploring Second Life in some capacity right now. Some internal job titles include “metaverse evangelist”. Mike might be a good person to contact if we plan to roll hard with Second Life.

Technologies to Check Out

Vastparks appeared to be a scalable Second Life clone that let you run your own server that in theory could support up to 1000 concurrent users.

Emergent Technologies

Tim Page

Emergent is behind the gamebryo game engine that has been used for games such as Oblivion, Civilization 4 , and other awesome games. He said a commercial license cost 150k, but because we are a University we would probably get a huge discount on that. If we do want to build our own multiverse, this engine is definitely one to check out.

Cryptic Studios

Jack Emmert

Jack’s company created the second largest North American MMO, City of Hero’s. He is an academic at heart, and might be open to collaborating on making us the next Second Life.