Press Release: Mental Health Symposium – 26th April from 7am-5 pm SLT

Press Release: Mental Health Symposium 2014

Virtual World Conference Supports Quality of Life in Mental Health.

Virtual Ability, Inc. announces the third annual Mental Health Symposium to be held Saturday, April 26th, 7:00 am PDT/SLT to 5:00 pm PDT/SLT in Second Life®. The theme of this year’s conference is “Quality of Life.”

The World Health Organization defines quality of life as an individual’s “perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, standards and concerns.”

Quality of life is important to us all, but may be more difficult to attain for those with mental health issues. Overall quality of life is affected by psychological state, physical health, level of independence, social relationships, personal values and beliefs, and the relationship of all of these to the person’s environment.

Symposium presentations include (in alphabetical order):
• Hillary Bogner, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, will offer insights from her research on depression among older adults.
• Colleen Crary, Executive Director of Fearless Nation, Inc., will share lessons from adversity for creating a vibrant life.
• Dick Dillon, CEO of Innovaision, LLC, shares surprising information about why some recovering addicts become “weller than well.”
• Teresa Goddard, Senior Consultant with the Job Accommodation Network, will inform us about attaining employment equality through accommodation and self-advocacy.
• Dr. Christine Karper and Michelle Stone, members of the American Counseling Association’s Cyber Task Force, will talk about the role of counseling and virtual service delivery.
• Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie, University of Southern California, will describe the use of virtual worlds as healing spaces for veterans.
• Dr. Nicolas Rüsch, of the University of Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, will explain the results of his research on well-being among persons at risk of psychosis, focusing particularly on shame and stigma.

Alice Krueger, president of Virtual Ability, Inc., stated: “I am pleased to see an increasing focus on quality of life in mental health care in recent years, since many persons with mental health diagnoses struggle with these issues. The Symposium’s international presenters are acknowledged experts in their fields. I will be interested to hear what they have to say on these important topics. Please join us on April 26 to learn more from a variety of exciting speakers!”

All sessions, done in voice and text simultaneously, will take place at The Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island within Second Life®:

The full schedule of presentations is posted at

About Virtual Ability, Inc.
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Denver, Colorado, dedicated to enabling people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in on-line virtual worlds like Second Life®.

For more information on Virtual Ability, Inc., including the benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities, please see

For further information, please contact:
Alice Krueger, President
Virtual Ability, Inc.
Office: (303) 400-3306


VWBPE 2014 interesting stats

New stats have been published today for VWBPE 2014 and it’s worth pointing out that these are estimations based on statistical packages in each environment. Check out the new VWBPE 2014 data and total comparisons from previous years. New dates for VWBPE 2015 below!

The 2014 estimations are most interesting as it shows the total unique of visitors, highest concurrency and the average concurrency. New records were broken on the Second Life grid, OSGrid and on LiveStream through the conference duration. This year there was more interest for sure and more visitors on the different platforms. The numbers are certainly on the up and hopefully the trend will continue for many more years to come.



My opinion is that VWBPE 2014 was a major success from start to finish and I think it was definitely the best one yet. It’s great that Ebbe Linden and Philip Rosedale came to the conference this year to spend time with residents of Second Life. I thought the organizers, all of the live speakers, volunteers and everyone else did a great job at VWBPE 2014 making it a success.

VWBPE 2015 Countdown

As mentioned on the blog post VWBPE 2015 will be held on Wednesday 18th March 2015 through to Saturday 21st March 2015. The theme for VWBPE 2015 is Crossroads.  I am most looking forward to VWBPE 2015 and seeing how that will compare to this year.


VWBPE 2014 – Day 4 Schedule

Time (SLT)

Location Event
12 Apr 7AM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium Design Implications of Game-Based Analyses
12 Apr 8:05AM Second Life University of Idaho “Virtual World Design” – A New Book about Creating Immersive Virtual Spaces
12 Apr 8:05AM Second Life Rockcliffe Rotunda 3d Virtual Immersive Environments as Enabler for Blended Gamified Learning Experiences
12 Apr 8:05AM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium CAMELOT Symposium
12 Apr 9AM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium Connecting the Past, Present, and Future of Second Life
12 Apr 11AM Second Life VWBPE Workshop B A Hope and a Plan
12 Apr 11AM Second Life VWBPE Workshop C Connections to the Past: the Motown Museum & Hitsville USA
12 Apr 11AM Second Life VWBPE Workshop A The Programmer & the Nurse – Using Second Life for Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration and Learning
12 Apr 1PM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium “‘There’s always room for a virtual zipline’, and other lessons from SciEthics Interactive”
12 Apr 2:05PM Second Life Rockcliffe Rotunda Creating an Entertaining Learning Environment: Game-like Environment in Virtual World for Education
12 Apr 2:05PM Second Life University of Idaho MachinEVO Symposium
12 Apr 4PM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium The Freedom Project: How Artistic Expression Transcends Real Life Challenges
12 Apr 6PM Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium Closing Ceremony
12 Apr 7:50PM

Second Life VWBPE Quadrivium

Closing Party

VWBPE 2014 – Day 3 Videos

Ebbe Linden

Here are some of the recorded keynote speeches from Day 3 at VWBPE 2014. Today marks day 4 which is the last day for VWBPE 2014 and there will be a closing party later on today at the VWBPE Quadrivium

Featured Panel Today

Featured Day 3 Videos

Ebbe Linden keynotes at VWBPE 2014 - The new CEO of Linden Lab shares some thoughts Second Life and the future of the platform. There are some new updates and Q&A session to watch. 

Andrew Hughes keynotes at VWBPE 2014 - Andrew talks about work with his company Designing Digitally and other projects.

Stay tuned for day 4 updates and videos soon. :) 

VWBPE 2014 – Ebbe Linden keynotes highlights


Ebbe Linden live at VWBPE 2014

Today Ebbe Linden came inworld for his keynotes speech at VWBPE Main Auditorium between 1pm SLT to roughly around 2:25pm SLT. Over 200 avatars attended inworld with 150+ watching it via Livestream. Questions were asked by Phelan Corrimal and Gentle Heron did a great job at transcribing everything at lightening speed. I thought the keynotes speech by Ebbe was fantastic and very informative indeed. Pete Linden was in the audience which was great. Ebbe spent extra time with residents in the after-party so that’s pretty cool from 2:30pm to 3:18pm SLT.

Ebbe talked about Second Life, OpenSim, TOS, the Oculus Rift, third-party viewers. teen grid, the media and much more. It was very encouraging and most interesting to hear what Ebbe had to say about these subjects. Ebbe was very positive about the future of Second Life and he mentioned that there will be changes to make Second Life more accessible. It’s good to see Ebbe addressing educators at his keynotes speech today.

The audience

Main Highlights 

  • Terms of Service – “I am working with my Legal Counsel to try to try to figure out how we can make it more obvious – or very obvious – that the creators of the content own the content … we’re working on some simple tweaks to the language to make that more explicit.”
  • Branding – “We have an incredible breadth of content creators for all kinds of purposes, and this is kind-of unique with Second Life, and I think it’s incredibly important to support everybody and what they want to do.”
  • The Metaverse and Linden Lab – ”There might be some people who might be interested in my position on the metaverse and OpenSim and interoperability, and that whole category.”
  • Integrating – “Some of you might be interested in what kind of integration we can do to make it easier for you to use Second Life in the context that you want to use it.”
  • Improving Second Life – “And then I think we still have a tremendous about of work still to be done – actually, a tremendous amount of work has already been done; Second Life today is so much better than it was two years ago.”
  • Future technologies  – “A little talk about future tech. Many of you have hopefully seen that we are obviously actively developing for technologies that we believe will have substantial mass appeal; Oculus being one.”


  • Will there be community liaisons with Linden Lab? “I can’t imagine that the things we can technically do … there is only so much that we can do. We need to understand the priorities. Otherwise there will be conversation without action. With a full time liaison, you can think up a million things we COULD do”
  • Are communications between LL and content creators important? “Of course. They make this all possible. We don’t do content. We empower content creators to draw in other users to share those that is incredibly important.”
  • Do your Agile teams decide what to work on each week? “We want to do more than we have been. It takes a lot of resources and time to engage in that conversation, and that is a cost. Many are not up to speed on the topic, are biased, or are not experienced. It can add a lot of cost to involve everyone in design. We want to be more transparent. We want feedback, to learn from you, to correct things. We learn from watching what you do, not listening to what you say, in general. The customer is often wrong when asking for something specific. When they express a need, that’s right. When they tell us how to meet that need, it’s often wrong.”
  • Do you expect a more aggressive positive media campaign?  “I don’t know how much is self inflicted, or dynamics of the market. One good thing, looking back, SL got over-hyped too early.
  • Would LL have plans to connect linden $ for the metaverse? “We would love to enable that. It’s a massive undertaking. We want to make safer high volume transactions. There is a lot of work to make BitCoin legal and compliant, and we have done a lot of those things. I totally see us going there, but that’s not short term.”
  • Are there any current projects you can share that will make the viewer easier to use and more intuitive?  “Ultimately, in order for SL to grow, it has to become easier to use. It takes too much time to engage and immerse people and make them functional.”
  • Are there any plans in improving transparency with 3rd party viewer.  innovations may come faster? “We do a decent job of collaborating with open source, Oz Linden interfaces with third party players. That community adds value to provide other viewers optimum for other audiences. WE can’t do everything for all, those with disabilities, those on other platforms. I think we have a good relationship with the open source community.”
  • Do you know about Nebraska? Can SL as a redistributed product be available again? Enterprise “I don’t think we can do that. I want to know what that was trying to solve rather than assuming it needed to be a box behind a firewall.  I don’t think we will do Nebraska again.”
  • is there any hope that shared media can be fixed for Mac users? “That sounds like a bug. I don’t know the status of that. I don’t know if the platform constrains us. I will look into that.”
  • What tech from HiFi be used in SL? “I hope it will create many advances many can benefit from to move virtual worlds and virtual reality forward. The more new hardware and interfaces, it moves us all forward. Philip and I know each other well. Some of us will visit them in a couple of weeks to see demos. it is early stages”
  • Apparently there are some issues with schools in the far east with broadband issues “We are aware that latency increases and impacts performance. Further away from America you have increased latency and reduced sense of functionality. We have an Asian partner. We are testing what aspects cause these issues, we have to create a lower latency tech and we need to push less data over the pipe.”
  • You had mentioned that you were looking to allow people to export their content/  Will there be an export flag that will help? “Nothing we are doing technically prevents export. Many get their content out. If you can not accomplish it with our tools or third party tools, or not perms owned by someone else, then it should be possible for you to get it out. Maybe we need to make that more streamlined, we are not preventing it, but we don’t want it to be easy for others to rip people off.”
  • There used to be a teen grid.  those who work in k-12 education would like to know more about security to brin in their students “I am aware of the Teen Grid,  there used to be a teen grid. Those who work in k-12 education would like to know more about security to bring in their students.  It is hard enough to make a successful business for adults. In the foreseeable future we will be working on the main grid without restricting what people can do. no teen grid in the near term, we need to make SL more welcoming”
  • Regards to plans for the mainland.  what are LL plans there? “I don’t know our goal for the mainland. I haven’t discussed this.”
  • Philip said the biggest obstacle to VW adoption is technical.  Is this all there is? “Unless we do something technical, nothing will change. If we have conversations, that won’t be enough to create change. There was an under-investment in user experience. it can be new ways to interface with the product. it needs to go from a minimally appealing product to a product that appeals to hundreds of millions. My dream is to make this something a huge number of people can enjoy and contribute to. this is just the beginning, there is more to come.”
  • Based on current trends in the market place, FB and oculus for example, are there messages we should take from this for virtual worlds? “You have to look at those individually. There is industry interest in solving the things we are trying to solve. it gets more competitive, but anyone of us moving the ball forward moves us al forward and Facebook buying Oculus is excellent., They see the future we have all been working on. OnLive third party using our open source technology will make a viewer for the tablet. We do have conversations, we collaborate with all 3rd party teams.”
  • How can we contact the Lab the right way to involve LL in our questions? “You can reach out to individual Lindens if you think they are interested. maybe we can think of a place where we can list interest groups and what they are talking about like an interest group catalogue to know meeting times and formats.”
  • if you had just 1 message that educators could bring back, what would it be? “We are here. We are willing to listen and dialogue.  We want to talk about the future. The doors are open again. We want to know how to make you successful.  That’s it. I’m here. I’m happy to talk with all of you. I want to learn and listen. I want to make you successful.”
The afterparty

The after party

Huge audience numbers with no region crashes.

Regions packed during Ebbe Linden keynotes

Regions packed during Ebbe Linden keynotes

Ebbe Linden highlights summary  (order = oldest mentions at top with new mentions at bottom)

  • “We’ve made a mistake”, taking away education discount.
  • “We do not want to steal or profit from your content”
  • “We’re not trying to lock you in, getting content in and out of SL should be easy.”
  • “Current terms may indicate that we want to profit from your content, without benefiting creator, and that is not our intent.”
  • “We don’t want to lock in content. You should be able to export to other environments.”
  • We need to make this easier for normal consumers to use.”
  • This is a challenge for a small company”
  • I lean to making it easier to use before focusing on interconnection.”
  • We have a lot of work ahead, but a lot has been done, it’s better than 2 years ago.”
  • There is still a lot to do in subcomponents of SL. Most are not great”
  • Nobody else has an environment this open and where users take it where they want to take it”
  • “The GDP inside SL is hundreds of millions of dollars”
  • If there are groups not qualified as an ed institution by our current rules, they don’t have credentials, maybe we can explore this.”
  • The general communications with you and us had deteriorated before I got here, from what it was years ago.”
  • “We want to be more transparent”
  • We want feedback, to learn from you, to correct things”
  • “The customer, when they express a need, that’s right”
  • “When they tell us how to meet that need, it’s often wrong”
  • Ebbe and the conversion rate of people staying with SL isn’t great”
  • You have to be determined to make it through on your own.”
  • “We are ready to take it to the next level”
  • “Nobody else is this far”
  • We want to make safer high volume transactions”
  • There is a lot of extra eyeballs on this space because of what is happening with bitcoin”
  • “What that offering would look like, a virtual currency that goes out of SL, that’s another step”
  • Ultimately, in order for SL to grow, it has to become easier to use.”
  • “We can’t go mass market as we are today”
  • Nothing we are doing technically prevents export. Many get their content out.”
  • There was a policy that Linden avatars being inworld, They could always use alts. That policy has been removed.”
  • I could have a whole army talking to all the special interest groups”
  • If the community has things to do, if they want to invite us to participate, today you will find more people”
  • “It needs to go from a minimally appealing product to a product that appeals to hundreds of millions”
  • “I know we can solve this. My dream is to make this something a huge number of people can enjoy and contribute to”
  • We are here. We are willing to listen and dialog. We want to talk about the future. The doors are open again.”

Wow, that was a great keynotes speech by Ebbe Linden. Check out my snapshots of Ebbe Linden keynotes speech here on my SL Flickr streamWhat did you think of Ebbe Linden keynotes today at VWBPE 2014 ?

VWBPE 2014 – Day 2 Videos

Here are a few keynotes videos from day 2 at VWBPE 2014 and don’t forget to check out the event schedule calendar. Watch Live sessions here and enjoy!Good news today is that the VWBPE 2014 site is now back up online.

Maria Korolov keynotes – OpenSim

Justin Clark Casey keynotes – OSGrid

Day 3 coverage will be posted later on today.

VWBPE 2014: Philip Rosedale Keynotes – Live Updates

Philip Rosedale opening keynotes today has now been recorded and you can watch it here. Special thanks to Geo. I posted live updates from the keynotes below and uploaded snapshots on my SL Flickr stream here.

Philip Rosedale Keynotes in real-time

  • 12:45pm SLT – The VWBPE Main Auditorium is packed with avatars (166 avs)
  • 12:50pm SLT – Live stream here >
  • 12:54pm SLT - ATTENTION: is being worked on and will be back up shortly
  • 12:57pm SLT – It’s almost time - Phelan is at the podium
  • 1pm SLT - Phelan kicks off the opening keynotes
  • 1:01pm SLT – Philip Rosedale arrives on stage and introduction
Philip Rosedale at VWBPE 2014

Philip Rosedale at VWBPE 2014

  • 1:07pm SLT – Philip talks about history in virtual worlds and his passion for virtual worlds
  • 1:10pm SLT – “SL has a huge population and economy”
  •  “SL is inspiring”
  • “It has challenged people since 2003″
  • 1:13pm SLT – “They said to make the UI good, work for everyone.”
  • “I think the problem is the mouse.”
  • “We can build new virtual worlds like High Fidelity.”

Philip Rosedale

  •  1:18pm SLT – Philip talks about the oculus and he thinks it’s unbelievable
  •  “Oculus allows visual immersion.”
  • “Oculus allows you to turn your head, move your head when you are talking to someone.”
  • “Oculus is the tip of the iceberg”
  • “We need motion controllers”
  • “The hydra system has 12 degrees of freedom without the head.”
  • “Oculus can follow the head, but you may not want that in education.”
  • 1:22pm SLT – Philip talks about online course work and education in Second Life
  • “Online courses have don’t have a high success rate.”
  • “You feel like you are there with someone, and that is important in human interactions, in education.”
  • 1:25pm SLT - Philip goes back to talking about the oculus and High Fidelity
  • “Beyond the hardware, the Oculus and motion controller, 3D cameras… what else do we need?”
  • “You have 10 milliseconds to put the graphics up to be believable”
  • “This is a focus at High Fidelity”
  • “We are looking at one on one presence”
  • 1:28pm SLT – Philip talks about how latency is important
  • “How much latency can there be in face to face talking?”
  • “100 milliseconds”
  • “ITU did a study on VoIP”
  • “they found 150 milliseconds.”
  • “100 milliseconds is necessary in establishing emotional connections”
  • 1:30pm SLT – Philip mentions the stats
  • “Your cell phone is 500 milliseconds”
  • “Skype is 250 with video”
  • “VoIP is 800 or worse”
  • “If you can watch someone’s face at less than 100 MilliSecond Delay, you will be amazed.”
  • “100 milliseconds is half the ping time to Hong Kong”
  • “You can have a live session half way round the world.
  • “The world is only 100 milliseconds around by light.”
  • 1:34pm SLT – Philip talks about his recent blog post
  • “Beyond hardware and latency… I made a blog post about identity the other day.”
  • “Identify is evolving to be more like virtual worlds.”
  • “Putting up a unique name, we don’t do that in RL, and I don’t think we will do that in VWs in the future.”
  • “Having a fixed identity system, to get to someone with a shared hash tag, will be used in all virtual worlds.”
  • “When we want to declare who we are, we will have ways to identify ourselves.”
  • 1:35pm SLT – Philip talks about the future of virtual worlds
  • “I think the future of virtual worlds is an inter-network.”
  • “I believe that for VWs to become a tool we all use, they have to be more like the internet.”
  • “We are looking at what comes next, at High Fidelity.”
  • “The next leap for VWs will be an inter-network of virtual worlds.”
  • “Code needs to be open source like the web”
  • “You need open documentation, visibility, it is a best practice.”
  • “It is a lot of small servers loosely joined.”
  • 1:40pm SLT – Philip talks about the venue about scale
  • “A great event like this attracts a big percentage.”
  • “We are at 4 corners of 4 sims”
  • “But we can only interact with a few hundred folks here.”
  • “The capacity here is several thousand here in the stadium”
  • “But we can’t get thousands together in a virtual world yet.”
  • “astounded we have not crashed yet, even though on 4 corners”
  • “So we have to design for scale.”
  • “We are working on scaling.”
  • “We all have to help in creating new Virtual Worlds.”
  • 1:41pm SLT – Philip talks about servers
  • “A typical server, when you step up the bandwidth, and you need to do that for high quality audio and video, the amount of data sent is megabits.”
  • “That means 1 internet server, 1 fast desktop machine, can only serve 10-100 people.
  • “SL Has 40000 servers each serving dozens”
  • “There are 1/2 to 1 million physical servers.”
  • “SL uses a significant percentage of them.”
  • 1:45pm SLT – Philip talks about S.E.T.I. at home
  • “We can get access to everyone’s machines and use them as servers, like SETI or protein folding.”
  • “Can we write software to allow you to share, a system that uses an economy to do that?
  • “We can borrow machines when we need them.”
  • “We think the next generation of VWs can be built of a cloud of shared/borrowed machines.”
  • “Educators can pull the machines together at low cost.”
  • “The implication is that to get access to all those machines that is several orders of magnitude higher than we have now…”
  • “On a tech side note, like the Oh Wow of Oculus, we have to see more stuff in the world.”
  • 1:47pm SLT – Philip talks about distance and size
  • “Write an offline routine to see all that has been built.”
  • “We are the size of Los Angeles now.”
  • “We need a technology even better than SL that allows us to see 10 miles in the distance.”

VWBPE regions

  • 1:49pm SLT – Final summary notes
  • “In summary (before questions) the new hardware, led by Oculus, will open the doors to higher and easier ways to interface with virtual environments.”
  • “Without the learning curve, the population will grow. Architecture needs to be open.”
  • “The future for education will be incredible.”
  • “We need to use orders of magnitude more servers.”
  • 1:50pm SLT – Philip opens the floor up to Q&As
  • “When can we expect high fidelity to be available?”
  • “doesn’t know yet”
  • Phelan asks about privacy issues. As people want to share info, how is that impacted?
  • “When people have their own VW servers, we make decisions of trust as avatars coming into servers.”
  • Will these devices require users to invest in new/expensive hardware?
  • “With SL, we saw that educators could find funding. Tech is becoming cheaper.”
  • Drax asks if High Fidelity will make SL obslolete?
  • “Linden Lab invests in High Fidelity.”
  • “We are more aggressive and experimental.”
    “The research will come into SL over time.”
  • “There is an SL for the Oculus.”
  • “We will see some High Fidelity innovations in SL eventually.”
  • “The SL team understands that to do crazy new things, you want to do that as a new company with a small team.”

2pm SLT – Ebbe Linden arrives at the main stage and there are more than 200 people here!

Ebbe Linden

  • How will the learning curve be impacted
  • “But the new hardware will make the learning curve easier for basic functioning.”
  • “will better ways to build identity affect us on a cultural level?
  •  “In a word, no.”

2:05pm SLT – Celene asks about accessibility.

  • “I think it’s what has made SL so compelling is how it is accessible fundamentally.”
  • “SL by its nature is accessible.”
  • “There are features more accommodating for people with different disabilities.”
  • “Second Life itself isn’t accessible to those who uss screen readers.”
  • “SL has a good track record, it has been a concern for a long time.”
  • “I can speak for High Fidelity. We build systems open source. pluggable”
  • “The people that make use of accessibility features will be impactful.”

2:07pm SLT – The keynotes ends by Philip Rosedale 

  • Due to the amount of traffic the VWBPE 2014 site broke and should be online later on today!