Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Innovation in SecondLife

I've rambled around Second Life for some months now, blogging sites of interest - commercial and educational. Until now, I haven't really given much thought to a Top 5 of Second Life innovation. However, I was speaking with a colleague last night and he raised an interesting challenge: "Show me somewhere that represents the most innovative use of Second Life."

Now I will confess at the outset that I don't frequent the mainlands that much, as they tend to exhibit a cacophonous kaleidoscope of weirdness, while suffering levels of lag that border on the insufferable. This means that there are huge tracts of SL of which I remain blissfully ignorant. However, here are a few candidates for my Top 5 of Innovation (currently in no particular order):

  • Virtual Sao Paolo
  • Svarga
  • NOAA
  • PA Consulting Demo Island
  • Ramonia
I'd be interested to have your views, gentle reader. What is the numero uno of SL Innovation - and why? (Casin0s and p0rn don't count!)

Also - my colleague was particularly keen to know if there's anything inworld that models a real world health and safety concern, such as a chunk of oil refinery.

Leave a comment with your views.


Kannapolis 2.0 said...

The geyser at Commonwealth Island is one of the most innovative things I've seen in SL. In fact, the geyser inspired me to learn some basic machinima techniques, just so I could film it!

Here is video of the geyser:

Team Mascot said...

Re modelling real-world health and safety concerns, there is the "Play2Train" island, which is used for disaster simulations.

Play2Train is the Second Life component of the Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program, IBAPP for short.

There's a podcast interview with the head of the programme - Ramesh Ramloll (Moriz Gupte in Second Life) which can be heard at http://www.rabble.ca/rpn/episode.shtml?x=56406

Team Mascot said...

OK so you've set a challenge. I've just been and checked out Svarga briefly - yes it is nicely rendered and a relaxing place; but does it count as "innovation"?

I agree with Sao Paulo, Ramonia, PA and NOAA as being pretty innovatove.

I think though, I would propose the whole of "information island" for the collaboration generated between various libraries.

Then there's the Virtual Schizophrenia.... that's a pretty clever use of SL.

And on a "social responsibility" note, how about Camp Darfur? I know it is a bit tedious, but it does have the scope to make you think.

Oh, yes, then there's the Science Centre on info island.... where else can you climb inside a Buck Minster Fullerine ball?

Using an SL island to get kids with Autistic spectrum disorders communicating.... (though I've yet to find the location and see it in action!)

I think I'd better stop now... I'm rambling!

Anonymous said...

check out the place called thothica sl - it's a bit on the 'unique' side...

Aleister Kronos said...


I think you have missed many of the points about Svarga - aside from its brilliant texturing.

Try http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2006/05/god_game.html

Which includes:
'[Svarga]is a fully-functioning ecosystem, adding life or something like it to the verdant-looking but arid pallette Linden Lab offers with its world. It begins with artificial clouds, which are pushed along by Linden's internal wind system.

"If I was to turn off the clouds the whole system would die in about six hours," [Laukosargas Svarog's ] tells me. "Turn off the bees and [the plants stop] growing, because nothing gets pollinated. And it's the transfer of pollen that signals the plants to drop seeds. The seeds blow in the wind, and if they land on good ground according to different rules for each species, they grow when they receive rain water from the clouds. It's all interdependent."'

Sounds pretty innovative to me!