On Thursday, October 21st, Matthew Ball, author of the influential Metaverse Primer and lead creator of the Ball Metaverse Index, was joined by Gene Park of the Washington Post and virtual world blogger Wagner James Au for a fireside chat in the virtual world of Breakroom. The chat covered a wide range of topics, including key trends to watch for, the mainstream adoption of the Metaverse, and the broader impact on society. Near the end, metaverse pioneer Philip Rosedale was also invited up on stage. You can read more about the event here.
Matthew Ball is a well-informed, articulate, and insightful speaker about the metaverse, and I highly recommend you watch the following 50-minute video of the well-attended event:
Please note that, as you watch this video, both Adam Frisby and Rohan Freeman of Sine Wave Entertainment, senior executives of the company who make Breakroom and Sinespace, were the ones responsible for spawning the dizzying array of items on and around the stage as the panel members spoke to the assembled audience.
I certainly don’t blame Adam and Rohan for wanting to flex the dynamic editing capabilities of their platform, especially in front of an audience full of big names in the metaverse! However, at first I thought it was a griefer attack! (I even DM’ed Adam to report the “griefer”, not knowing that it was him! How embarrassing.)
Anyways, I learned a lot from Matthew’s talk, and there were some great questions afterward from the audience, so I thought I’d share the video here with you. Stay tuned for news of the next in this free series of Fireside Chats in Breakroom!
This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here).
I admit it: I still have a soft spot in my heart for the early social VR platform Sansar.
I joined Sansar which was then in closed beta test, in January 2017, and I began this blog in order to write exclusively about Sansar (in fact, the original name for the RyanSchultz.com blog was the Sansar Newsblog). Over time, I slowly expanded to write about other platforms, but Sansar was my introduction to social VR.
In my opinion, Sansar (built by Linden Lab, opened to the public on July 31st, 2017, and later sold to Wookey in 2020) still boasts some of the most breathtakingly beautiful worlds in the metaverse (thanks in large part to their advanced lighting model). I wanted to reshare two of my favourite videos to give those of you, who might never have set a virtual foot in Sansar, a taste of those worlds.
First is a video by Wurfi, compiled in 2019, showcasing numerous worlds in Sansar. Watching this brings back so many happy memories!
And second is the following YouTube video by Daisy Winthorpe, made in 2020, which also shows off numerous Sansar worlds:
Philip Rosedale, the founding CEO of Linden Lab (the makers of Second Life) and CEO of High Fidelity; and
Dr. Tom Boellstorff, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine who has written extensively about the culture of Second Life (previous blogposts about Tom here).
This is a must-watch one-hour video, if you are at all interested in social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse! Both Tom and Philip are excellent, articulate speakers on the topic, Drax deftly steers the conversation in many directions, and there are so many great quotes in here! This video is a gem, and the fact that it only has a little over 400 views so far is criminal, people. So go watch it!
P.S. Have you seen the latest one-minute promotional video for Second Life? Second Life’s new owners spent some serious coin on this! The future looks bright, indeed! (Fun fact: did you know that the same Waterfield investment group that now owns Second Life also owns Goldman Sachs? Check out the “Waterfield Network” listing of companies at the bottom of that last link.)
Overall, the fact that I can have an expressive, fully animated avatar inside a metaverse is blowing my mind.
Not too long ago, I was invited by Carlos Austin and Jason Moore to pay a long-overdue visit to NeosVR, where we met up with XRiEL (a.k.a. Ari Tarr), went over to Jason’s workshop, tried on some cool avatars, and rode some fun vehicles!
Here’s the full one-and-a-quarter hour video which Carlos kindly posted to YouTube:
Enjoy! As you can tell we had a lot of fun. Carlos was the cameraman capturing the shenanigans, and we were later joined by iBrews (a.k.a. Alex Coulombe). This video also makes a great introduction to NeosVR if you have never visited before! Of particular interest is Ari showing just how easy it is to rig an avatar within NeosVR:
Thanks to Jason, Ari, Carlos, and Alex for a wonderful afternoon! I had to bow out a little early (at the 50-minute mark in this video) to avoid becoming VR sick, but the antics continued after I departed!
At the 53-minute mark, XRiEL/Ari demonstrates what he can do with his avatar, wearing a Vive Eye Pro VR headset with eye tracking, the Vive Facial Tracker, plus Valve Index hand and finger trackers, and also three Vive pucks attached to his hip and both his feet. Yes, his eyes and mouth are mirroring his facial motion in real time!