Miscellaneous blog posts

Here are my contributions to Terry’s Miscellaneous Details blog. As with all the posts there, they are collections of links to an assortment of topics. Mine are focussed on Second Life, naturally, and news about the metaverse. Terry deals more broadly, with links to articles about art and design, culture, data, education, technology and the web.

The metaverse on the high street

Amazon may have decided to shut up shop, but that’s not put Facebook Meta off.

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28 Apr 2022

Yeah but what if we are?

Simulation theory, the idea that we’re all living inside a supercomputer is pretty far-fetched, to be sure. But no one really believes it, right?

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17 Mar 2022

Metaverse schmetaverse #2

VR headsets are bulky and cumbersome, convincing virtual touch is a long way off, and I’ve no idea if virtual smell is a thing. But not to worry, enthuses philosophy professor David Chalmers, “these temporary limitations will pass.”

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29 Jan 2022

Anybody there?

A pleasing philosophical coincidence I came across recently. I’m happily devouring Tom Boellstorff’s Coming of Age in Second Life and was at the section on presence and afk, when I came across this:

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13 Jan 2022

Living in a virtual democracy

My reintroduction to Second Life has been quite gradual, as I didn’t stray very far from the SL Book Club at first. But a comment there one evening about the Confederation of Democratic Simulators caught my attention, so much so that I now call it home. So what is the CDS? …

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3 Dec 2021

We’re virtually there already

It’s great to hear Draxtor bringing a little pragmatism to the metaverse debate in this interview with PC Gamer.

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17 Nov 2021

Metaverse schmetaverse

Another set of reactions to Meta’s easy-to-mock metaverse announcement, and reminders that its sci-fi inspirations were dystopian novels.

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08 Nov 2021

All very meh-ta

After last month’s speculation about Facebook’s attention deflecting rebrand, Mark is ploughing ahead with his metaverse plans and has plumped for Meta. How has this gone down? As you’d expect.

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03 Nov 2021

Looking back at the cybercafés of the future

Everything innovative and cutting-edge is destined to become quaint and old-fashioned — from cassettes, DVDs and mobile phones, to laptops and the web itself, even. Looking back at the internet of the 90s, it’s easy to forget how revolutionary and necessary cybercafés once were.

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09 Sep 2021

The internet’s next leap forward?

Remember when virtual reality was supposed to be the next all-encompassing, technological paradigm? Or the Internet of Things? Well, hold on to your VR googles because the metaverse is coming! Mark says so.

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18 Aug 2021

Finding my way, under starry skies

I’m still trying to get my head around Second Life. The scale of it confuses me, with its talk of continents and regions, parcels and places. I need a map. It seems there’s a longstanding technical difficulty with that currently, but here’s a helpful resource — an inworld Maps of Second Life exhibition.

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15 Feb 2021

Finding our digital selves

I’m a big fan of the work of Joanne McNeil and Jenny Odell. I guess the all-knowing Google must have picked up on that somehow, which was why YouTube recommended I watch this video of the two of them, plus others, on a panel discussing social media. The event was organised by the Second Life Book Club, and was what prompted me to resurrect my long-forgotten account last week.

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03 Feb 2021

Giving Second Life a third chance

Do you remember Second Life? Not only is it still around, but it’s having something of a comeback, thanks to you-know-what.

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26 Jan 2021