FirewallMany of the virtual worlds use a port to connect to the server, just like your browser connects to port 80 to view web sites. However, having access thru a firewall to run Second Life is not the same thing as having access thru a firewall to run Second Life voice-chat. There must be multiple ports open depending on the features of the virtual world. BandwidthWith the need for 3D rendering in these worlds it becomes a heavy load and creates network latency and bandwidth issues. This is something that is only limited by the client side as most of the power is used on the client side of the virtual worlds to ensure server stability. Specifications / Computer PowerAt the current time the specifications for these virtual worlds demand for a high powered video card to handle the use of the 3d rendering of graphics and processing power. The minimum requirements can be found on the specifications page of any of the virtual worlds that are out there for use. I recommend reviewing these in detail and running system wide tests.
Move Avatar –one of the aspects of the movie that I noticed right away was that the characters were either completely their avatars or completely disconnected. They weren't sitting at a computer, controlling their avatars while drinking their morning coffee...they were in a full body chamber with their consciousness shifted into their avatar bodies. No, I don't think that's how we'll interact with virtual worlds...but it does represent one of the issues with virtual worlds going mainstream. How will we "connect" to the virtual world, and our avatars, psychologically? There will be a shift, a technological advance, and a change in perspective on how this happens. When we can as easily picture ourselves in the 3D world as we can walking into our real life offices, we will have reached a critical step in mainstream adoption. This will be a longer term goal for Virtual Worlds.
This will mean that logging into a virtual world will be as easy as logging onto a website, and your avatar will be consistent across different worlds. It will mean that virtual world content will be searchable, and will come up in Google search.It will mean that there will be standards and a common programming language, like html, but for 3D content. We will need a consortium to make this fully happen.
The Future of Virtual Worlds
Andrew M HughesInstructorUniversity ofCincinnati&President / CEODesigning Digitally,Inc.
It’s not a game… A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars. It’s an effective social network tool if you dare to try… Development of a virtual university by DDINC in Second Life Participating in a virtual world takes both know-how and practice (think of learning how to create an avatar, manipulating it in the virtual world and more).
A digital version of you… It can be a person, robot, superhero, cartoon character, a furry, a box, anything! What can your digital you do? You can interact with other digital people via voice chat, text chat, animations, play games, dance, laugh, sing, and anything you can do in the real world (minus smelling).
Travel is Expensive Reduce your carbon footprint by using VW’s Reduce travel expenses Able to quickly meet as if in a phone conference Not just a 2D collaboration tool (such as GoToMeeting) Purchasing complex training and distance education equipment can be costly Virtual worlds can cut down on training by creating simulations in them Scenario based training is becoming more popular as technology evolves Able to create live seminars quickly for users to learn the subject material
Commercial Virtual Worlds… More stable due to R&D More features Technical support and updates provided by vendor More effective for the users You become dependant upon the vendor to assist Open Source Virtual Worlds… Cost Effective Easily updated by multiple developers Large community for assistance More control over the server side of the system No dependency on a vendor Sometimes not as stable as commercial virtual worlds (you get what you pay for)
Application Based Virtual Worlds… Large application download Must open ports in your network to use all features Must get application approved for your institution Must update the application as the software evolves Browser Based Virtual Worlds… No application download (usually a small browser plug-in) Becoming more robust each and every year Able to render high quality Able to implement all interactions and simulations Google is now supporting Unity3d in its next update release of Chrome
Commercial Virtual Worlds… Activeworlds, Amazing Worlds, Blue Mars, Club Cooee, Empire of Sports, Football Superstars, Free Realms, HiPiHi, IMVU, Just Leap In, Kaneva, Meet- Me, Moondo, Moove, Novoking, OnVerse, PS3, Protosphere, Prototerra, Red Light Center, Second Life, There.com, Twinity, Vivaty, vSide, Worlds.com, 3DXplorer, Multiverse, OLIVE, Vastpark, Habbo, web.alive, and many many more! Open Source Virtual Worlds… Project Wonderland / Chainsaw, Project Cobalt, Unity Engine, OpenSim, Sirikata, Open Croquet, Smartfox Server, Darkstar Engine, realXtend, Vastpark, Syntensity, Unreal Engine, and many many more!
Training / corporate learning: Used for serious game simulations Virtual conferences / presentations / meetings
University / Educational Uses: Used for serious game simulations Virtual classrooms / classes Can be used for any subject due to the flexibility Virtual marketing / community awareness Virtual promotion of the campus / school
Commercial / Marketing: Rapid prototype development Test drive a product before buying Purchase a digital version of the product Virtual promotion of a company Virtual face-to-face meetings with employees and clients within the virtual worlds
Government Agencies: Rapid prototype development Military scenario training (PTSD) Research projects / community awareness Conferences / private seminars
Currently full integration of Moodle into Second Life with a module called Sloodle Proton Medias Protosphere now integrates with Sharepoint BlackBoard awarded a $25,000 Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds to Ball State University to develop a full integration of Second Life into Blackboard. Opensim uses MSSQL database and/or MYSQL databases that can be imported or exported into your LMS. See http://www.mychinese360.com Moodle integrates with ExitReality Virtual World. http://www.moodle3d.org/
Second Life users have had digital affairs that lead to real life divorces. World of Warcraft gamers have died from playing due to dehydration. Second Life users have had funerals for people that have died in real life. Autistic people have been able to communicatehttp://www.virtualworldsnews.com/ more effectively through virtual worlds.
The number of people creating new avatars doubles every year. Avatars will be able to move from one VW to another with the same avatar Users will have their billing account setup with one system Users will be able to communicate between each virtual world Users will be able to create content that can be implemented in all virtual worlds regardless of poly, mesh, or primitive development http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2007/10/virtual-worlds-.html
Currently, it’s difficult to obtain your ROI for virtual worlds. This will become vastly improved through time spent within these spaces. Virtual Worlds will be adopted as we have adopted cell phones. We will access them on our cell phones within the very near future.
There will be consortium that will enforce cross platform travel through these virtual worlds with one single avatar.
Virtual worlds will replace our 2D web sites. We will explore the items we want to buy on eBay instead of viewing a 2D picture. Our “web site” will become more of a portal for clients and users to be provided instant feedback on services and/or products as they do not with 2D chat. See this URL
Virtual worlds will integrate augmented reality to allow for a fully interactive experience between the environment and user. Click here for URL
Schools will fully integrate and allow students to attend school from home using these systems. We can hire qualified teachers to teach through this virtual world. This is ALREADY Virtual campus and video create by Designing Digitally, Inc. HAPPENING! So how long until it’s the standard in education? Time is ticking!
Andrew Hughes Instructor University of Cincinnati 513-360-8042 firstname.lastname@example.org OR Andrew Hughes President Designing Digitally, Inc. email@example.com