Encore! Another Live Opera on FrancoGrid on Jan 6th – The Marriage of Figaro

The folks on FrancoGrid are hosting another live opera.

It’s happening Thursday, January 6 @ 8pm French Time (11am SLT/2pm Eastern).  Our Hypergrid Adventurers Club attended the previous opera, which was simply brilliant.

I’ll be leaving from the region Pathlandia on jokaydiaGRID at 7:30pm French Time (I want to arrive early)  if folks would like a hypergrid guide to the performance.  We can make the jumps from jokaydiaGRID to FrancoGrid together.

@Hugobiwan has created a poll to see how many folks will be attending the opera in Second Life versus Opensim.  If you plan on attending the opera, please fill out this poll.  That will help them a lot in their organizing and server setup.  Thanks!

À Bientôt!

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

UPDATE Jan 8, 2011: Some nice coverage of the opera in the French press. See these articles on France24 and leParisien, and video coverage by a French TV station.

Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #26: Visiting VWERGrid (Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable)

For today’s meeting, we visited VWERGrid, the new home of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable community.

On November 11th, 2010, the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable announced the opening of their second virtual home on their own Opensim grid called VWERGrid.  Today we traveled to VWERGrid and had a chance to speak with AJ Kelton, the founder of the VWER.

Read on for a full transcript and many photos of our adventure.

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My Prediction for Virtual Worlds in 2011

At the end of each calendar year, it’s common for people to offer up their predictions for the new year ahead.

Such predictions are fun to make and fun to read.  Since I mostly swim in the waters of online communities and virtual worlds, most of the predictions I come across have to do with the future of technology.

I have a prediction for the coming year.  And while my prediction involves the technology landscape of virtual worlds, what I predict will happen actually has nothing to do with technology.

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Encouraging Exploration: Tales of Telehubs and Hypergrid Hops

We all have a desire to explore.  It’s in our nature as human beings to seek out novel things, both the conceptual and the physical.  To be human is to be an explorer.

Virtual worlds give us an opportunity to explore and discover new environments filled with new people.  And given the malleable nature of virtual worlds, we can design these environments in ways to specifically encourage exploration.

But trying to encourage people to explore by design is tricky.  Read on for some thoughts and examples.

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3D AIDS Quilt Launching in jokaydiaGRID on World AIDS Day, Dec 1st

December 1st is World AIDS Day.

The wonderful folks at Startled Cat and the Karuna Initiative are launching a beautiful 3D AIDS Quilt this year, supported by jokaydiaGRID.

I highly recommend you check this out.   Read on for details.

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“The Everything Guide to Social Media” – quick review and my foreword to the book

Back in May of this year, I was invited by the author to write a Foreword for his soon to be published book “The Everything Guide to Social Media.”

The book is out now, and it’s a good read for anyone interested in exploring the current landscape of social media technologies.

Read on for more of my thoughts, and to see what I wrote in the Foreward.

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Short Story: Part 1: Jetpack

Cubey Terra recently wrote a bittersweet short story called “The Oldbie.”  If you’ve ever used Second Life, you should read it.

It inspired me.  So I’ve written a similar story.  A story about virtual worlds and the future.

It’s called “Jetpack.”  This one’s for you, Cubey.

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The Future of Virtual Worlds: No Fate but What We Make

In the movie Terminator 2, there is a memorable scene where Sarah Connor carves some words into a park bench.

I think those words hold a special meaning for those of us interested in the future of virtual worlds like Second Life, OpenSim, and whatever new worlds will come.

And I believe it’s a very bright future.  For everyone.

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With every Exodus comes Expansion: Educators and Non-profits in Second Life

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged for about a month. I was also quiet on Twitter. The primary reason for this was a nasty bug that knocked me off my feet for a few weeks, and while I recovered I took the time to pretty much unplug from the online world.

Occasionally decoupling from the endless flow of online information gives me a chance to focus on new things without interruption. I spent my offline time reading books on various subjects and deeply immersing myself in the narrative of a couple video games.

While my illness bug is happily gone, my writing bug has happily returned. My next few blog posts will be about some insights I had into the nature of engagement in virtual worlds, games, and immersive stories. But for now, I’ll share some thoughts about the current situation with educators and non-profits in Second Life.

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Meanwhile, in Finland

I found that captioned photo while Googling for images of Finland.

But I don’t think we’re allowed to tease Finland anymore.

Not since Newsweek recently ranked them #1 on their list of Best Countries in the World.

I’ll be giving a keynote at a very interesting conference in Finland in October.  Here are some details.

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