Hypergrid Business is Winding Down: Does This Mean the End for OpenSim-Based Virtual Worlds?

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Hypergrid Business is a long-running website that covers enterprise uses of immersive virtual reality environments and virtual worlds, with a particular focus on OpenSim-based virtual worlds.

In early June, editor Maria Korolov announced that the Hypergrid Business is winding down, saying:

The reasons are both personal and practical.

Personally, I’ve moved on from covering virtual worlds to covering cybersecurity and, most recently, artificial intelligence. (You can see some of “day job” articles here: mariakorolov.com.) I barely spend any time in OpenSim anymore.

Practically, there was once a strong possibility that OpenSim would evolve into an open source, virtual reality metaverse. That’s not happening. Our viewers are still stuck where they were ten years ago, without any real support for web or mobile access or for virtual reality headsets. All projects to address that issue seem to have faded away. Instead, the focus has shifted to VR-native platforms from Google, Facebook, and, to some degree, Microsoft. We don’t know yet what Apple is cooking up, but they’re busy as well.

It’s increasingly looking like the whole SL-OpenSim ecosystem has hit a dead end. It will probably continue to exist as a niche platform for its half million active monthly users, shrinking slightly each year until it’s just a nostalgia thing, like text-based adventure games or manual typewriters.

They’ve had quite a long and successful run, publishing more than 3,000 articles by over 200 contributors since March of 2009. The website was my main source of news on OpenSim-based virtual worlds, so I will miss them. I wish Maria the best of luck in her future endeavours.

Does this mean the end of the many OpenSim-based virtual worlds that Hypergrid Business covered so well? No. Many will no doubt continue for years to come. But perhaps this is indeed the end of an era, the end of a dream that a hypergrid of open-source, OpenSim-based virtual world platforms would eventually supplant Second Life. In the end, there just didn’t seem to be enough people who believed in that dream to work on it and make it a reality.

If you’re interested in exploring the Hypergrid, here’s a list of OpenSim virtual worlds.

Thanks to Richard DE Haan Eesti on Facebook for the tip!

750 Blogposts!

This is my 750th blogpost on the RyanSchultz.com blog. Time to celebrate!

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In case you were wondering, here are my Top 20 most popular blogposts since I launched this blog on July 31st, 2017:

    1. Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar
    2. UPDATED: More Details on the Upcoming Ability to Change Your User Name in Second Life
    3. VRChat Pick of the Day: Club Transcendia
    4. Virtual Reality vs. Real Reality
    5. Why Women Don’t Like Social VR: Interview with Jessica Outlaw
    6. Second Life Versus Sansar: Why Linden Lab Can’t Win, No Matter What They Do
    7. A Few (Second) Thoughts About the Sudden Popularity of VRChat
    8. Which Virtual World Boasts the Highest Avatar Capacity?
    9. Linden Lab Announces a Mainland Price Decrease in Second Life
    10. The Idea of the Universal Avatar
    11. UPDATED: Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues in Social VR Spaces/Virtual Worlds
    12. Stupid Pictures Promoting Virtual Reality
    13. UPDATED: Earning Money Creating Custom Avatars in VRChat: An Interview with Ghoster
    14. A First Look at STYLY
    15. Exclusive Video: A Guided Tour of Virtual Universe with Jeroen Van den Bosch
    16. Occupy White Walls: A New Virtual World for the Art Curator in You
    17. UPDATED: Comparing Sansar and High Fidelity: A Few Thoughts
    18. Second Life: The E2V Vendor System is Shutting Down—And How That Affects You
    19. Use of VRChat and Sansar in China
    20. Sex and Gender Issues in Virtual Worlds: “The male/female dichotomy was viewed as binary and the technology (literally) codified that concept.”

Each of these blogposts has racked up over 500 views, which is pretty impressive!

If you are looking for a comprehensive listing of all the social VR and virtual world platforms I have ever blogged about, here it is: A Complete List of Every Social VR Space and Virtual World Platform I Have Written About on The RyanSchultz.com Blog.

I hope you will stick around as I work towards my next goal of 1,000 blogposts!

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

A Second Guided Tour of Virtual Universe

My original half-hour guided tour of the upcoming social VR/MMO platform called Virtual Universe has proven to be very popular. A user named JadeKVR recently published her own guided tour of VU, conducted by Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder.

The video is 23 minutes long, and once again gives a pretty good overview of what you can do within Virtual Universe. Check it out!

When I asked on the VU Discord server about a projected beta launch date, Jeroen told me:

Heya Ryan, putting final touches on the Game portal , launching very soon, including more info about the beta!

Joeroen also mentioned that Virtual Universe will be compatible with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets, as well as all the Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

This is good news! I’m very much looking forward to setting foot in-world again!