Emotes Finally Come to Sansar!


Picture by YesManProductions on Pixabay

Did you know that you can now use emotes in chat in desktop (non-VR) mode in Sansar? Torley took these short videos of a group of avatars at today’s Community Meetup using the three available emotes:




Note that these emotes don’t work when you are in a VR headset (I know, because I tried to use them, peering at my keyboard through the nose space on my Oculus Rift headset), but then again, you can move your head and arms when in VR, so it’s not really as important. I still would like to be able to dance, though! Linden Lab still has to figure out how to integrate the VR hand controllers and visor with the played-back animation, what takes precedence in such a situation. Oh, the joys of social VR development!

Only three emotes so far, but it’s a start! Hopefully, Linden Lab will add more soon.

Five Hundred Blogposts!


Wow! It’s hard to believe that I’ve actually made 500 blogposts since I first launched this blog last summer! I never thought I would reach this milestone this quickly. Five hundred blogposts in less than eight months is an insane pace (especially since I am doing this in the evenings and on weekends), which I doubt I can keep up. But it’s been a wonderful adventure, and great fun (well, most of the time).

Here are my top fifteen most popular blogposts on RyanSchultz.com so far:

  1. Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar (January 8th, 2018)
  2. Virtual Reality Vs. Real Reality (January 2nd, 2018)
  3. Why Women Don’t Like Social VR: Interview with Jessica Outlaw (February 17th, 2018)
  4. VRChat Pick of the Day: Club Transcendia (March 11th, 2018)
  5. A Few (Second) Thoughts About the Sudden Popularity of VRChat (January 4th, 2018)
  6. The Idea of the Universal Avatar (November 28th, 2017)
  7. Second Life Versus Sansar: Why Linden Lab Can’t Win, No Matter What They Do (March 9th, 2018)
  8. Stupid Pictures Promoting Virtual Reality (October 27th, 2017)
  9. A First Look at STYLY (March 10th, 2018)
  10. Pick of the Day and Outfit Outlay: 2077 (January 6th, 2018)
  11. Sex and Gender Issues in Virtual Worlds: “The male/female dichotomy was viewed as binary and the technology (literally) codified that concept.” (November 30th, 2017)
  12. UPDATED: Comparing Sansar and High Fidelity: A Few Thoughts (August 18th, 2017)
  13. UPDATED: A First Sneak Peek at Fashion in Sansar (December 14th, 2017)
  14. My Top Fifteen Sansar Experiences (Plus One!) (November 19th, 2017)
  15. Avatar and Camera Controls for Desktop Users of Sansar (August 5th, 2017)

Of my top 15 posts, seven were about Sansar, three were about virtual reality in general, and two were about virtual worlds in general. Other topics in the top 15 were VRChat (twice), Second Life (twice), STYLY (a big surprise!), and High Fidelity (once).

The kerfuffle over “the blog incident” referred to above actually led me to rebrand the blog and broaden my focus, which turned out to be a step that brought me a much wider audience, as I covered more social VR platforms and virtual worlds. So it turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

I hope you’ll stick with me as I work towards my next goal of 1,000 blogposts. As I said, I doubt I will be able (or willing) to keep posting at my current pace, but you never know!

Ads, ads, ads…


Photo by Nicolai Berntsen on Unsplash

If you’re a regular visitor, you might notice something different about the RyanSchultz.com blog starting today. Namely, the advertising spots now appearing along the top, sides and bottom of my blog and its blogposts.

I’ve decided to take my first step into monetization, by enabling WordAds for my WordPress blog. Since I recently upgraded to a Premium plan as part of the rebranding of my blog (necessary because I wanted to use my own domain name), I would like to be able to recoup at least some of the costs of running RyanSchultz.com. I hope you understand why I made this change! (You’re probably only going to see ads for WordPress.com until my monthly blog view stats reach a certain level.)

Keep in mind that you can always use Adblock Plus to remove unsightly ads from your web browsing experience if you find them annoying. I promise I won’t blame you for using tools like Adblock Plus, but I do hope you do keep the ads! (I recently turned off Adblock Plus for Strawberry Singh’s excellent and highly-recommended website because I was curious to see who was advertising on her blog.)

Ready Player One: Early Reviews from SXSW Are Raves


The early reviews are in from the SXSW Film Festival, and it looks like Steven Spielberg’s latest film, an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s book Ready Player One, is going to be a hit.

IndieWire: ‘Ready Player One’ Review: Steven Spielberg Delivers Astonishing Sci-Fi Spectacle and Relentless Nostalgia — SXSW 2018

CNN: ‘Ready Player One’ premiere gets cheers, despite technical difficulties

The Verge: Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One improves immensely on the book

Rolling Stone: SXSW 2018: Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Premieres, Fanboys Go Nuts

And which virtual world has the official Ready Player One movie tie-in? Why, that would be Sansar! (I bet that Philip Rosedale and his staff at High Fidelity are gnashing their teeth.) Aech’s Garage is a lovingly created, beautifully lit, and painstakingly detailed experience crafted by Linden Lab’s Sansar Studios, Intel, HTC Vive, and Warner Brothers, full of Easter eggs referencing 1980s pop culture. It should be a jaw-dropping introduction to VR to many people.

What will be interesting to watch is how Linden Lab plans to leverage interest in the Ready Player One movie into potential user engagement with Sansar in general, and the Aech’s Garage experience in particular. What have they got planned? They haven’t said, yet. (I’m willing to bet they have a second experience hidden away somewhere. They surely wouldn’t let this golden opportunity pass them by.)

This is a very similar situation to the CSI: New York TV show tie-in to Second Life back in October 2007. There was a recent poll of users in the ever-active Second Life Friends group on Facebook, asking how they discovered SL, and a surprising number of people mentioned that TV episode as their introduction to Second Life. Likewise, the Ready Player One movie may become many people’s first exposure to Sansar.

(Then again, I remember that the Second Life tie-in from CSI: NY had some degree of game-playing and interactivity to it, instead of just wandering around admiring the beautiful scenery. Although the situation is getting better (HoverDerby is a stellar example), the lack of interactivity in most Sansar experiences is a big problem in keeping new users engaged and coming back for return visits.)

So obviously, Linden Lab is hoping that the movie will be a success, and will drive people to try out Sansar. We’ll see what happens when the movie opens on March 29th, 2018.