Does Sansar Need an Independently-Run Discussion Forum?

rawpixel-649910-unsplash.jpg
Discussion and debate are the lifeblood of any community (photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

It seems ludicrously early to be even talking about the possibility, but given the sometimes heavy-handed moderation happening lately on the official Sansar Discord server, perhaps this is an idea that merits some discussion now.

I have noticed that usage of the Sansar Discord server has dropped a fair bit over the past year, especially when compared to the early days, when there were many free-wheeling discussions on a variety of topics, of interest to many people. At times, it was a bit of a free-for-all, but it was always entertaining to watch (and participate in). It was fun!

But lately, it feels like you can’t go more than a few sentences into a conversation on Discord without Harley or Eliot stepping in to ask the participants to take it to another channel, or to direct messaging. Frankly, it’s dampening the spirit of the place, and I do not like it one bit.

The long-running (and still popular) SLUniverse.com is an example of an independently-run discussion forum where people can safely vent on any number of topics related to Second Life, OpenSim, and other virtual worlds, without fear of official reprisal from Linden Lab. Is it time to set something like SLUniverse up for Sansar? Maybe it is.

SLUniverse 9 Aug 2018.png
SLUniverse Discussion Forums

Or maybe we should all move wholesale over to SLUniverse, they do already have a Sansar forum (although it’s not heavily used).

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

Advertisements

I’ve Added a Definitions Section to the RyanSchultz.com Blog

definition-390785_1920

I have added a Definitions page to the RyanSchultz.com blog (available on the left-hand side menu in desktop view, and from the three-bars menu button in the upper-right hand corner in tablet/smartphone view).

On this page, I will provide definitions of commonly-used terms in this blog, such as:

  • virtual world
  • metaverse
  • avatar
  • virtual reality
  • augmented reality
  • social VR

If you come across a term that I use in this blog that you don’t understand, send me a message and I will consider adding it to this list, thanks!

Shopping for Fashion in Virtual Worlds: Buying the Clothes Off the Avatar’s Back

Fashion is a key part of avatar customization in virtual worlds. Second Life has a huge clothing market, and many people make an actual living designing and selling virtual fashion. Newer virtual worlds with humanoid avatars, such as Sansar and Sinespace, have growing avatar fashion marketplaces, too. In fact, many creators who had their start in Second Life are moving their businesses to these newer platforms (for example, BlakOpal Designs has set up a store in Sinespace).

I have a confession to make. I buy a lot of clothes in Second Life when I see something I like that another avatar nearby is wearing, like this gorgeous Roxy dress with the chain detail by United Colors:

Roxy dress 9 Aug 2018.png

Whenever I am in a busy Second Life sim full of fashionably dressed avatars, like Frank’s Place, I almost always do a right click/inspect to see what other avatars are wearing. It’s quite easy to do, and I find out about stores I had never heard of before that way.

The following instructions are for the Firestorm viewer, but they should work in any SL viewer. Just hover your mouse over a mesh article of clothing that another avatar is wearing, click the right mouse button, then select More from the circle menu that pops up, then select Inspect. You will get a display that gives you the name of the object, and even tells you who the creator is, so you can check their profile for a store location in their profile bio or their profile Picks:

Right Click Inspect 9 Aug 2018.png

In fact, there is a free HUD available on the SL Marketplace, called What Is She Wearing?. that allows you to scan nearby avatars, and then select one to get a complete list of all their attachments! It’s very handy, as you can see at a glance their entire outfit, including shoes, hair, and what make of mesh avatar body and head they are wearing:

What is She Wearing 9 Aug 2018.png

Sinespace has taken this concept one step further. Click on another avatar in Sinespace and you pull up a complete list of what that avatar is wearing, including skin and eyes. You can then preview the item on your own avatar, or buy the item directly from that listing!

Sinespace 8 Aug 2018.png

This is a very handy feature to have in any virtual world, and I hope that Sansar and other platforms take note of it and implement some form of it for us fashionistas!

UPDATED! Social: The First Social Augmented Reality Experience for the Magic Leap One

We’ve talked a lot about social virtual reality apps on this blog, and looked at numerous examples of social VR. But this one is a first: a social augmented reality (AR) app has been announced for the brand-new Magic Leap One headset!

Social 9 Aug 2018.png

Just announced via twitter by Savannah Miles, who is leading the social and avatar chat team at Magic Leap, Social is the name of a newly-announced Magic Leap One experience that is coming sometime later this year. According to the product page:

Build Connections

Share experiences, follow your friends and join other creators to explore this new frontier together. Build, personalize and accessorize your own custom avatars with a suite of creation tools. Soon, you’ll be able to hangout with people from around the world in the comfort of your home.

Make Magic Together

Spatial computing is meant to be shared. Soon, Cast will let people in the same room see what you see, when and where you see it. Plus, since with Avatar Chat you’ll basically be in the same room, they’ll be able to see the same content and applications, too.

Express Yourself Like Never Before

Coming this fall, Avatar Chat will take full advantage of Magic Leap One’s perception features such as 6DoF, headpose, eye tracking and hand tracking to create a feeling of real presence. So wink, wave or throw a high five because you’re going to meet some super expressive avatars.

Social 2 9 Aug 2018.png

UPDATE Oct. 13th: The Road to VR website reports that the Social app (renamed to Avatar Chat) is scheduled for release next month:

Magic Leap is slowly broadening its app offerings, and as a part of the company’s next steps to move forward to a fully-fledged consumer product, the company today announced at L.E.A.P. Con, the company’s first developer conference, that Magic Leap One is getting a bit more social in the next few months.

Savannah Niles, Magic Leap’s Designer Lead of User Experience, took the stage today at L.E.A.P. Con to announce that the company will be rolling out “a suite of products” to enable multiuser experiences on Magic Leap One—something that’s been missing up until now.

The opening gambit: Avatar Chat, an AR chat app that allows multiple users to connect remotely, with the ability to be represented by customizable avatars.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

In the quick clip of Avatar Chat, we saw Magic Leap One detecting gestures, eye blinks, and the ability to manually select emotions, represented by emojis.