About Me

My name is John Lester, and my expertise and interests include Software Development, Product Management, Distributed Team Management, Online Communities, Community Development, Immersive Learning, Collaborative Learning, Knowledge Management, Artificial Life, Online Communities, Augmented Reality and Multiuser 3D Virtual Worlds.

john pathfinder lester original profile pic version 3 large

I’m currently the Lead Technology Evangelist at Wiggle Planet, a small startup developing a new platform for emotionally-intelligent animated characters that live in the physical world through geolocation-based augmented reality. These characters, called “Wiglets,” incorporate artificial intelligence, virtual physics and genetic inheritance, and are ideal for educational applications, games and staged augmented reality events.

From 2010-2015, I was the Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid, developing 3D simulations and multiuser virtual world platforms. My primary focus at ReactionGrid was collaborative learning and instructional design, working with academic and business clients to develop immersive education environments.


medical 01

From 2005-2010, I worked at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. At Linden Lab I led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the innovative use of virtual worlds in research, art and immersive learning.

vtd152 introduction to virtual design the art of enhanced reality

Previously, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, creating online medical education and patient support communities while exploring the underlying neuroscience behind how people effectively communicate and collaborate.

screenshot while exploring Opensim

I have a background in neuroscience research and a deep interest in how to enhance education and collaboration through the development of successful online communities. Some of my active side projects involve working with Opensimulator to explore interconnected virtual worlds, experimenting with the Oculus Rift and other HMDs to enhance perceptual immersion, and building interactive 3d environments using the Unity platform.


I live in Montreal, commonly use the online nickname “Pathfinder,”​ and spend my free time playing with dogs, fixing old clocks and whispering to horses.  You can also find me tinkering with my Pathlandia Opensim grid.

in the trees

I’m always keeping an eye out for new career and contracting gigs where I can more broadly apply my skills in community development and knowledge/product management as well as my expertise in 3D environments. I also frequently give presentations and keynotes on these topics. Please contact me through LinkedIn if I can be of assistance.

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

19 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I am about to start my 20th year teaching; this year, Digital Media at a middle school in Tiburon. I loved your take on Snowcrash, one of my favorites, and will have my students at San Francisco State be required to read it. It is also something that my middle school students aren’t quite ready to accept, the humanity, because they are still forming as human beings, and the tween to early tween years are fraught with self-focused paranoia about fitting in.

    I am going to re-focus on storytelling in Digital Media this year, and your emphasis on expression will help that creative process a lot, thanks.

    • Thanks, Jeff. Wish I had such a class when I was in middle school!

      Storytelling in digital media is fascinating to me. Especially when you get into transmedia techniques. I’m planning to blog about those subjects in the near future and hope to get a good discussion going.

  2. Pingback: The launch of the Hypergrid Adventurers Club

  3. Pingback: Eternal shame! WoW mage beats SL geeks!

  4. Pingback: Linden Lab Future with Pathfinder Lester, Pete Mroz Project, Media in S.L Wiz Nordberg Treet.tv CEO | Tonight Live With Paisley Beebe

  5. Pingback: Augmented Cities and Dreaming Wisely | Be Cunning and Full of Tricks

  6. Hey John,

    I am so excited to have stumbled upon your work via @njsmyth’s blog! I have only scratched the surface but look forward to learning more about your work. All that AND you have Frith and El-Ahrairah for avatars. cool beans.

  7. Hey John! Thanks for your site. I enjoy seeing who else is out there doing what we are doing. We’re going to open our doors today on the alpha of our MMO and invite you to come see us! Nice to virtually meet you.

    Doug Glover
    Slime Sandwich

  8. Hey John,
    I was reading through your blog today and have a couple of questions if you don’t mind? I have recently set up 2 blogs myself which are SL related

    1. Would you mind sharing the links somewhere on your blog in return for you link put on mine? Just a little free exchange advertising.

    2. Would you mind if I republished content from your site on mine? Obvious credit would stay with you and a link to your site would be included.

    3. Do you have any tips for a new blogger? I’m still muddling my way through at the moment, so any hints you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much for your time, I hope to hear back from you soon.

    HisanoXelax Resident (Hisano) xx

    • Hi Hisano,

      1) My pleasure. I’ve just added links to those two blogs under my “Good Stuff” collection of links on the main page of my blog.

      2) As long as you give me attribution, please feel free. I am flattered that you would like to republish my ramblings.

      3) I think the most important thing is to just write about what you love. I also always try to include good photos and also keep things as short as possible. People like brevity and interesting things to look at. :)

  9. Hey John, thanks a lot for the great work…
    As an IT student, in my final year pursuing a bachelors degree, it has given me a lot of inspiration, for a very awesome project…
    Thank you,
    May the Almighty God bless you…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s