VWBPE 2022 Conference Opens


VWBPE 2022 Regions (builds are in the sky with teleports)

The 15th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE 2022) conference opens today at 8am SLT where the Gateway for the Kick Off Event will start. Phelan Corrimal will officially declare the beginning of VWBPE 2022 along with the conference planning committees who will be sharing upcoming conference highlights. From 9am SLT there will be a keynote speech by Oksana Levytska at the VWBPE Auditorium who will be talking about the use of virtual technologies and practices in support of ongoing education during world events.

Patch Linden will be live from 11am SLT to 11.50am roughly at the Above the Book interview talking about what’s new at Linden Lab and the impact that education (non-profit organizations) has in Second Life. This event will take place at the VWBPE Auditorium so please arrive early to get a seat.

There will be swag bags around where it has a teleport HUD, conference information and the schedule. Here is the VWBPE 2022 full program schedule and let’s spread the word about this to your friends and on blogs across the metaverse.

  • Check out the program schedule for more events. I have picked out some recommended cool events below that you may be interested in.

Friday 1st April 2022

Saturday 2nd April 2022

VWBPE 2022 Sponsors

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VWBPE 2022 Program Released


All sessions of the upcoming VWBPE 2022 conference have been published on the VWBPE Program page. This year marks the 15th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education conference which opens officially on Thursday 31st March 2022 through until Saturday 2nd April 2022 in Second Life. The theme for 2022 is Phoenix Rising and the conference is free for everyone to attend. All times are SLT!

The Kick Off Event of VWBPE 2022 starts at 8am to 8.50am SLT where Phelan Corrimal (Executive Director) will officially declare the beginning of VWBPE 2022. It’s best to arrive early to make sure you get a seat and to be able to access the VWBPE regions before they become full. On the VWBPE Program page you can add events to your personal calendars by clicking on the selected session. There is a Subscribe button at the bottom of the page to stay updated.

What’s Up at the Lab? – Thursday 31st March 2022

  • Patch Linden
  • 11am to 11.50am SLT
  • Join Phelan and Patch at this Above the Book interview as they explore what’s new at Linden Lab and the impact on educators and non-profit organizations in Second Life.
  • VWBPE Auditorium

Looking at a glance overview there are many interesting sessions and keynotes planned from The Beauty of STEAM education in virtual worlds, Out of this World Parade, Phoenix Egg Exhibit Hunt, Spirit Light Dance Company performances and much more. Virtual Worlds after COVID is a must for those that want to know what’s coming next.

There is a special Above the Book Interview with Maria Korolov (Hypergrid Business editor and publisher) live at 3pm-3.50pm SLT on Friday 1st April 2022 talking about the state of virtual environments.

The closing ceremony will be on Saturday 2nd April from 6pm to 7pm SLT including closing remarks and highlights of the conference held at the VWBPE Auditorium. The 2022 Thinkerer Award Recipient will be named during this ceremony. The dance away night party will be held from 7pm to 8pm SLT. There will be live music and dancing. It’s going to be great fun.

The wait is almost over. Yay! 🙂

Philip Rosedale & Brad Oberwager Talks About High Fidelity and Second Life


On Monday 31st January there was a special pre-recorded edition of Lab Gab with Brad Oberwager and Philip Rosedale hosted by Strawberry Linden which aired from 9am SLT to 10am SLT. Already there has been over 1, 700 views on the Second Life YouTube video (shown above) and there has been some positive comment feedback. Over 300 questions were submitted for this special Lab Gab interview. It’s a really awesome interview with useful information about the future of High Fidelity and Second Life.

Here is a brief summary of the main talking points…

  • Brad views Philip as the “moral compass” of the metaverse right now and that he thinks that Philip has established himself over the years to making things better.
  • Philip says there is a small team at High Fidelity and that they are doing a great job selling spatial audio technology (like clubhouse). Philip new role as “strategic adviser” at Second Life means he is not responsible for day to day decision making but he has meetings with the team with different groups inside the company when they would like help or ideas. Philip is an engineer and a product strategist. Philip will be continuing in a more direct way to be a compass for decisions the lab makes.
  • Philip and Brad met while boat sailing around the bay and they started talking about Linden Lab/Second Life (chatting about selling Second Life).
  • Philip had a lot of concerns when he left as CEO of Linden Lab he wondered if he managed the company correctly. Since the return Philip says it’s nice to come back and not feel any stress. Philip says Second Life is constantly transforming itself and it’s changing all the time.
  • Philip briefly talks about Meta on some of the risks that are out there.
  • Philip said that there was 500 media articles written about Second Life every day back in 2005/2006. Most of them were on paper in those days and now it’s a like an “incredibly powerful moment for all of us in the world”.
  • Brad has now been a co-owner for a year now since he stepped in at the lab. Brad says “Second Life operates so much more closely to the physical world than people think in reality”.
  • Philip says that “we are the original crypto and we were the original nfts”. Brad says there are no plans for crypto, web 3 and nfts.
  • Will Second Life ever have VR capabilities ? Brad: can’t do it basically / Philip: There are Second Life viewers that have VR capabilities and he says that “we shouldn’t do anything with VR in a mainstream way” for at least five years. He thinks that desktop and mobile experiences will continue to dominate what social virtual worlds mean for at least the next five years.
  • What’s next for Second Life in 2022 and beyond ? Brad wants to continue to see “consistent improvement in the experience, the engagement and the number of residents as a metric for how well things are going”.
  • Philip wants “more and more expressive avatars are necessary to get a larger number of people to participate in virtual worlds”. The other thing is “how many people can be in one place at one time?” and he says Second Life is the leader. Virtual worlds on smartphones: Philip says “if virtual worlds are to serve you know billions of people it’ll have to involve smartphones in some fashion”.
  • And there is more!

What are your views on what Philip and Brad said from this interview ? Please share in comments.

Linden Lab Looks Back At 2021 & Looks Forward To 2022


On Thursday 23rd December Linden Lab released it’s 2021 – Second Life Year In Review blog post mentioning some of the main highlights of the year. The lab reflects on the key accomplishments for 2021 from the succesful migration to the cloud, performance improvements, new features, new user experience improvements, the release of two different Linden Home themes and more.

2021 Key Highlights

  • Improved speed and cadence of updates in performance. Overhauling the new user experience (welcome islands/new user guidebook), various UI and search improvements
  • The infrastructure in the Cloud improved throughout 2021
  • Chalet and Fantasy Linden Home themes were released. Newbrooke will be available very soon
  • Receiving group notices in email
  • More time limited themed last names became available through 2021
  • Support for multi-factor authentication was introduced this year
  • New 360 Snapshot Tool enables 360-degree snapshots
  • Over 140 Second Life Marketplace updates and fixes. Like these highlights like “tying Marketplace into the overall single sign-on (SSO) system, adding a “Save For Later” feature in the shopping cart, adding bulk redelivery for merchants, as well as fixing several issues and improving speed and stability”. 
  • And more!

There was mentions of Ebbe Altberg who sadly passed away earlier this year and Oz Linden who retired earlier this year. Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) stepped in as the Executive Chairman following the succesful acquisition of Linden Lab by an investment group run by Randy Waterfield.

Linden Lab mentions the 2022 roadmap in the blog post which sounds pretty interesting. Stay tuned for more Lab Gab episodes and weekly user group office hours which are planned. The annual shopping and larger popular events will be happening next year.

  • Avatar “expressiveness” that brings camera-based gestures and movement to your avatar for a whole new level of interaction and connectedness
  • Premium Plus – a new upgrade option with added features and extras
  • A new mobile viewer to enhance and improve your Second Life experience
  • Improved group chat reliability
  • Viewer and script performance improvements 
  • New user avatar customization and improvements
  • Updated mesh optimizer
  • Search engine improvements
  • Improved materials and terrain
  • Adding web marketplace variants
  • …and much more!

I think Avatar “expressiveness” sounds like it’s going to be pretty big and i’m sure going to be awesome. Premium Plus is a big one to watch as many have wanted this for some time. The new mobile viewer is still happening so that’s great to hear. The other improvements listed under that will make Second Life sound pretty good during 2022.

Linden Lab mentions the metaverse relating to the big name change announcement from Facebook to Meta recently. From the sounds of things there is “genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space”. Let’s see what happens in 2022 and 2023. It’s still early days yet.

Marketing the “Metaverse”
So, perhaps you have heard of this new thing called the metaverse? ;)  Unless you’ve been living under a rock (virtual or otherwise), you probably already know that Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta as they work on their own vision and version of a “metaverse.” While we appreciate that this development has super-charged interest in virtual worlds, we also know that there is genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space given its spotty reputation on many issues including consumer data privacy and protections.

At Second Life, we’re proud that we don’t monetize, sell, or share consumer data – and we’ve been heartened to see the mainstream media reevaluate our own virtual world amidst the heightened interest in all-things-metaverse including a renewed recognition and celebration of our pioneering contributions to the concepts of virtual economies, cultures, and communities.

What have been your highlights of 2021 in Second Life ? Feel free to share in comments below. Have a great Christmas everyone.

Second Life Trends On Twitter After Meta Announcement


Second Life at #9 on Twitter

Probably for the first time Second Life is actually trending on Twitter after the big Facebook announcement about the name change to Meta. Many are talking about Second Life making comparisons already. The focus is moving away from social media to the metaverse.

Mark Zuckerberg plans to build a “metaverse” – an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment using VR headsets. Mark hopes it will be a metaverse company moving forward now. Will Meta be a success or a failure ?

Second Life has now been around for over 18 years and still going strong with a active userbase. There has been positive net growth during 2021 and the lab have improved the platform over the years. Second Life is going to be around for many more years to come.

It’s still very early days yet for Meta and no one really knows how successful it may turn out to be. I don’t think it will be better than Second Life anytime soon. It needs to be more realistic and offer more to win people over.

In the mean time I think while Second Life is trending on Twitter there may be more new residents registering for Second Life in the days/weeks ahead which is always a good thing.