Items tagged with: opensim
@theregicide What is what?
Yes, I was partly talking about #SecondLife of which many are absolutely certain that it was shut down in late 2008 and 2009 when it'll actually celebrate its 20th birthday this year. And no, it doesn't look anything like the crummy and choppy old video footage from 2007 anymore.
But what I was mostly talking about is something called #OpenSimulator, #OpenSim in brief.
For those who do dare to tap/click on links and let them open in a Web browser: the official OpenSimulator website/wiki; Hypergrid Business: "What is OpenSim?"
For everyone else, I'll explain it right here: OpenSim is a server application that's the basis of a big network of 3-D #VirtualWorlds which are very similar in technology to Second Life. Thus, the name "OpenSimulator" is also used for the whole ecosystem.
OpenSim was developed around the Second Life Viewer API ("viewer" = "client" = the desktop app which you use to visit Second Life and OpenSim worlds) after Linden Labs had made their own viewer open-source in 2006. OpenSim itself was launched in 2007. It is free (BSD license), open-source, non-commercial and not owned by a corporation; instead, it is developed by volunteers in their spare time.
I've already said, "network of 3-D virtual worlds" which implies there isn't only one. There are many. They're called "grids" because they themselves are split into so-called "regions" of 256x256m; it is possible to walk (or drive or ride a scripted vehicle) from one region to another without teleporting, though.
OpenSim is fully decentralised, much like Mastodon and the other Fediverse projects. And in 2008, a feature called the #Hypergrid was introduced. It created the federation between OpenSim grids which made it possible to have an avatar registered on one grid and still teleport into a wholly different grid. It's even possible to pick up content on one grid and take it to another grid; like Second Life, but unlike many modern virtual worlds, OpenSim has an inventory.
While Second Life has only got one grid, the stats on Hypergrid Business count over 420 public grids. The stats recently submitted by the DreamGrid distribution which bundles OpenSim with an easy-to-use Windows point-and-click interface count over 10,000 private and public grids; most public grids aren't based on DreamGrid, though. More than 95% of all grids are connected to the Hypergrid.
In spite of its age and being largely unknown, OpenSim is not only large, but still growing. As for land size (which, by the way, is not measured by actual dry land, but by active regions), in the latest stats, only the 40 largest grids count 108,112 standard regions and thus measure 7,085 square kilometres or 2,737 square miles. 38 of them are connected to the Hypergrid, still counting, 106,175 standard regions and measuring 6,958 square kilometres or 2,688 square miles.
OSgrid, the first OpenSim grid and both the oldest and by far the largest OpenSim grid, counts 26,885 standard regions alone which amount to 1,762 square kilometres or 681 square miles. This is only slightly less than Second Life (27,741 standard regions, 1,818 square kilometres/702 square miles).
One reason why OpenSim is so huge is because it has some of the cheapest land of all 3-D virtual worlds. Especially some crypto-based virtual worlds sell patches of land which are smaller than a Second Life/OpenSim standard region for millions of dollars.
Second Life and OpenSim generally don't sell land, they offer it for rent. In Second Life, a standard region costs from about $250 a month upward.
On the Hypergrid, most grids charge you $10 a month for a standard region, some even less than that.
Better yet: Unlike Second Life, OpenSim has "varregions" which consist of multiple regions behaving like one with no borders between them, always arranged in a square. If you rent these, you get land for even cheaper. @Lone Wolf, owner of the #WolfTerritoriesGrid, the second-largest grid by land area, charges a little under $30 for a 4x4 varregion (that's the equivalent of 16 standard regions or a bit more than one square kilometre). Varregions can grow up to 32x32 AFAIK, and 16x16 have been seen.
Well, and of course, you can always start a grid of your own.
There is no "official" grid, by the way. The core devs don't run their own grid; in fact, the lead dev only owns one personal region on #OSgrid.
It's also worth mentioning that the term #metaverse has been used around OpenSim for much longer than most people have even known it. While I don't have records about it, the Hypergrid may have been referred to as a "metaverse" as early as its own inception in 2008; maybe even OpenSim itself was called that as early as 2007. The Infinite Metaverse Alliance has used that word in its name since it was founded in 2016.
There are even grids with "metaverse" in their names which predate Mark Zuckerberg's "metaverse" announcement by years such as the IMA's own Metaverse Depot or Alternate Metaverse, established in 2019.
Essentially, OpenSim with its Hypergrid is the free, open, decentralised, distributed "metaverse" which several initiatives are currently working on creating from scratch, all believing nothing like this had ever been done before.
And it is all that without a blockchain, without a cryptocurrency and without NFTs.
CC @bdonnelly, in case you can't believe that this exists.
Infinite Metaverse Alliance (IMA) - Home
Infinite Metaverse Alliance® (IMA) is a Research and Development Philanthropic Foundation with a focus on advancing virtual world and virtual reality technologies.infinitemetaverse.com
@theregicide My take on this is different:
The Metaverse isn't dead; it just isn't what you believe it is. And it is older than everyone thinks.
Also, the concept of a free and decentralised metaverse is already reality. Surprise: It is not #Decentraland. It doesn't need a #blockchain, a #cryptocurrency or #NFTs. And it has been around for a decade and a half.
The Metaverse is Not What Zuckerberg Tried to Make You Believe It Is
What's bad about this characterization is that it is only a fail for Zuckerberg's attempt to perversely redefine the original Metaverse as his own version based entirely on proprietary profits. He suckered many GenXYZ into this fallacy who collectively as tech bros introduced even more perverse redefinitions touting it as a new thing they were inventing driven by crypto and web3. The corruptness in unregulated crypto was the driver behind the failure - forever tainting the word Metaverse as a bad thing which is unfortunate.
What the Real Metaverse Is
The one and only true Metaverse is something we began building 30 years ago as technology was advancing from simulations run on mini-frame and mainframe clusters to PC LANs alongside the evolution from Arpanet to the Internet. Today, it encompasses all online 3D social virtual world platforms with immutable assets, and in some cases, virtual economies. The key features I consider criteria to be part of the Metaverse are 3D, social, virtual worlds (VR headgear optional), and immutable assets. Games without a social component (not just multi-user) are not a part of the Metaverse IMO. While some 3D MMO games were designed using VRML/X3D engines, most games today use Unity3D, Cry, GODOT, or Unreal engines which cannot compete with real-time user generated content in 3D social virtual worlds (akin to comparing apples and oranges).
History of the Metaverse
Many 3D social virtual world platforms still exist today having been improved over time via open source efforts. Second Life (SL), conceived by Philip Rosedale, was not the first with a virtual economy though and is only partly open source. The first multi-user 3D virtual world platform with a virtual economy was Cube3 conceived by Larry Rosenthal during the rise of VRML before SL even existed.
But both of these were centralized "closed grids" or "walled gardens" like many others before and after them. Then came OpenSimulator and its Hypergrid protocol which created a decentralized network of 3D social virtual world grids with local and "global" virtual economies. Avatars communicate and travel with content between regions and between grids that have this protocol enabled. The concept is actually similar to the Fediverse.
Anyone who wants to understand the real history need only use authoritative sources rather than social media. Some key founding orgs include NIST, NASA, Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), and Dassault of France. Don Brutzman of NPS is considered the father of X3D which is an extensible version of VRML and this format is still in use today by industry.
Every 3D modeling application can import/export this format and it is the only ISO approved standard for 3D despite the evolution of pseudostandard formats at the time like 3ds, obj, and collada. This was before VR was a tainted term renamed as virtual worlds. Some key OGs still around today include Larry Rosenthal and Tony Parisi. Some keywords: web3d consortium, vrml, x3d, active worlds, moove, blaxxun, black sun, cybertown, blue mars, cube3.
Open-Source Volunteers Wanted
Fast-forward to today, there are efforts to merge Unity3D rendering with SL/OS viewer software but so far have failed. However, when successful, this could provide an opening for the evolution of a more modern decentralized protocol pushing us towards an Infinite Metaverse based on open source that I envisioned some years ago.
For OpenSimulator, interns have done some preliminary R&D with GODOT and the viewer source code and seek volunteer devs to continue the work. If successful, an API could be developed to use other engines. Anyone interested needs to have in-depth knowledge analyzing and coding C# and C++ and Blender rigged 3D models.
Builders and Creators in SL/OS, did you know how you build matters when it comes to accessibility? Did you know some users with visual, cognitive, and motor challenges use a viewer named Radegast? The Radegast viewer has an option to "read" the object name field of every object and its parts to the user.
The number of disabled users in Virtual Worlds is a much higher percentage than in the offline global population. When a build is not accessible, it is painfully obvious and unusable for many.
When creating content for SL/OS, please make your builds accessible by:
1) Properly naming all parts (so Radegast does not blabber on meaningless information like primitive, primitive, primitive... or object, object, object...). Not properly naming parts disables others who need them described for them.
Review your existing builds. TIP: If you have a linkset with many parts that take a long time to rename, you can right click the linkset to edit, select edit linked parts, then give them all (parts not used by scripts) the same name.
2) When building and scripting your scenes, people who cannot hear well need visual cues and people who cannot see well need aural cues.
Providing aural cues for visual events and visual cues for aural events in your builds via scripting is practicing accessibility by design and makes them more immersive for everyone!
It is probably a good idea to install and test it yourself if you can https://radegast.life/
#SL #opensim #SecondLife #Gaming #Builders #Creators #accessibiity
@Chris Trottier @Aquarius Otter Well, the #Fediverse is #ActivityPub, technically speaking. Matrix, XMPP, Bluesky, Diaspora*, GNU social, none of them really count as part of the Fediverse.
(Now I'm wondering if I should tell The Federation about #OpenSim which is just as decentralised and federated, and which has been around since 2007 and federated since 2008...)