UPDATED! Ethernia: Yet Another Blockchain-Based MMO (Yes, It’s a Parody)

Sweet minty Jesus, but this whole blockchain-based virtual world/MMO thing has officially gotten out of hand. Check out this truly bizarre video that someone shared with me, for a new blockchain-based MMO called Ethernia:

I can’t tell is if this is meant to be a promotion for an actual product, or a joke (the voiceover is absolutely hyperbolic). I asked on the MMORPG subReddit about this, and apparently all the assets used in this video are from a free collection of Paragon game assets, which can be used in both commercial and non-commercial games.

Anybody know anything at all about this? I can’t find anything online at all about this Ethernia game. The website URL given in the video asks for a username and password, which immediately strikes me a highly suspicious. Someone is pulling my leg, right? This has to be a parody.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m. A sharp-eyed viewer has recognized the large stone monument at the top of the mountain in this video as being none other than Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin MagazineI’m betting this is a parody, and a very funny one if you actually know enough about cryptocurrencies to get the in-jokes.

The thing is, the person who originally shared this with me seems to think that this is an actual product. He tells me that the website opens on Monday for pre-registration.

Truly bizarre.

UPDATE May 31st: Surprise! Turns out Ethernia is an actual product after all! They now have a working website, and it looks like they are planning a launch in late 2018 or early 2019.

UPDATE Feb. 17th, 2019: I never bothered to update this before, but yeah, this is officially a parody by an ad agency called Pet Gorilla.

Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Baby Monkey Has a New Location and a New Freebie!

Baby Monkey (in-world StoreSL Marketplaceblog) has always been one of my favourite stores in Second Life, ever since I was a newbie. Baby Monkey is now celebrating ten years of operation in SL, and they have just moved to a brand new location! In the new store, there is a freebie available (no need to join their group). Here’s a SLURL that should take you directly there.

Baby Monkey 3 13 May 2018

My avatar in these photos is wearing the Tay dress by Baby Monkey, which is a Lucky Chair gift in the store; the Lucky Chairs are located in the courtyard of the new store. She is also wearing the Nova suede boots by Baby Monkey, which is a Midnight Mania prize. Both the dress and the boots come with a Basics colour HUD which allows you to change the texture to one of ten colours, as shown in the Midnight Mania panel.

Baby Monkey 2 13 May 2018.png

Baby Monkey 13 May 2018.png

My avatar today is wearing:

Mesh Head: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (this was an Altamura gift from last Christmas at the eBENTO event, you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it)

Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a gift last Christmas from the Women Only Hunt)

Hair: Beyoncé hair by enVOGUE (a gift from last year’s Hair Fair—or was it the year before?)

Dress: Tay dress by Baby Monkey (Lucky Chair prize, no group required)

Boots: Nova suede boots by Baby Monkey (Midnight Mania prize, no group required; the Altamura mesh body has Slink-compatible feet)

Sinespace Pick of the Day: The Welcome Centre

Screenshot 2018-5-13-08-45-29

Sinespace is one of those virtual worlds which has a Welcome Centre, which is where all new avatars spawn when they first set up an account. It’s always staffed with one or two greeters, called Sinespace Guides, who welcome users, answer questions and help troubleshoot problems. I had thought that they were part-time paid employees, but when I asked, they told me they were volunteers: “No, we help because we like to help people.” I think that this sort of program is a wonderful idea, one that most newer virtual world platforms should strongly consider doing, particularly in this competitive marketplace.

Sinespace’s Welcome Centre is an attractively designed tropical space, with a large pavilion, lots of palm trees, pools with water lilies and goldfish, and many wonderfully animated toucans flying around, landing here and there. Off to one side is a large sign posting upcoming Sinespace events, next to three tables where you can play the Greedy Greedy dice game (famous from Second Life):

Sinespace Welcome Centre 13 May 2018.png

(The translucent blue icons over the chairs indicate that you can sit down on them.)

The Sinespace Welcome Centre actually makes you want to come back, explore, and chat with the guides and other visitors. It’s a great example of a central meeting area!

Screenshot 2018-5-13-09-11-29

Sinespace Shop Spotlight: An Avatar Facial Driver Using Your Webcam

I decided today that I should visit (and blog about) a few other virtual worlds, other than Sansar. today. First stop was Sinespace, where I discovered this very interesting product for sale in the Sinespace Shop:

Sinespace Facial Driver 13 May 2018

The text reads:

This nifty item will animate your avatar’s face and torso from a connected webcam in realtime. Note: This feature only works on Windows and Mac downloaded clients. Facial coverings such as glasses can interfere with the tracking.

Here’s a one-minute YouTube video showing the facial driver in action. Very cool!

Now, I do wear glasses, otherwise, I would be tempted to spend the 800 Gold to buy this (that works out to about US$7.30) to try out this software add-on. (UPDATE: Sine Wave Entertainment’s CEO Adam Frisby told me he would send me a review copy to try it out. Thanks, Adam! I will let you know how well it works for me.)

Once again, Sine Wave Entertainment is really doing some innovative things with the Sinespace social VR/virtual world platform.