The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, Dublin

 

Why you chose it

For my second destinations, I decided to look at recommend places in Second Life on google. After a bit of research The Blarney Stone Irish pub was being recommended over and over as a cool place to visit, so I decided to check it out.

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What functionality/interactivity it provides

The Blarney Stone Irish Pub is primarily a place to meet new players is Second Life. This entire city is based on the real-life city Dublin in Ireland, as is the Blarney Stone Irish Pub.

Upon entering the pub it is quite packed will avatars, there a several main areas; the bar where you can sit and socialise with other players, the upstairs dining area, and also the dancing area where there is a live DJ playing.

Each seat in the building is interactive, you can choose to sit it different positions.

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There is also a floating DJ ball that when touched allows you to dance in different styles, here me showing them my mad dancing skills.

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How it looks/how is it built/how much scripting there seems to be

The look of this pub is rather impressive, It was built by the group Dublin in SL Managers which consists of 109 different Avatars. I decided to compare the look of it to the real life pub in Ireland, so I flew to Ireland!!.. Okay I didn’t I just used Google images, but it is a very accurate recreation of this pub.

I would say there is a fair amount of scripting in this pubs with interactive objects like the seats and dancing, however other than that there does not appear to be a lot more scripting than this as it is primarily a social location and the interactions are with other Avatars.

 

How it compares to others

This whole town is rather impressive, I also find it fascinating that it is based on the real-life Dublin. While there isn’t a whole lot of interactive objects in this pub compared to somewhere like The Ivory Tower, it was definitely more social as soon as I walked in I was greeted by several Avatars and even made a new friend! Overall if you are looking for a place to meet other Avatars this is defiantly worth checking out!

 

What your impressions of it are

As you may have been able to tell  by reading my blog about The Blarney Stone Irish Pub I am very impressed with this locations. This really comes down to two main factors; one is that it is a very impressive replica of the real-life pub, the other is the friendliness of the Avatars there.

 

 

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Ivory Tower Library of Primitives Sandbox, Natoma

 

Why you chose it

We visited this location during Isa’s class on Wednesday, I thought it would be useful since we are currently learning the basics of building with prims. I also thought it was an impressive build and looked like it would have taken a lot of time to create, so let’s check it out.

What functionality/interactivity it provides

This is a place where avatars can come to learn about building with primitives, each floor has multiple stations which each teach you a different thing about prims. By clicking on the signs by each activity you will get given a notecard which contains instructions, you can then follow these instructions to complete the activity.

Starting at the bottom floor there are multiple tutorials about manipulating prims with the build tool. They start at the basics such as how to spawn a new prim, moving and rotating the prim etc as you work your way up the tower the lessons get more in detail they become.

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How it looks/how is it built/how much scripting there seems to be

The Ivory Tower contains five different floors, each floor has multiple tutorials on it about building using prims. While I have not done a lot of scripting it’s hard to say exactly how much scripting there is, however the face the just about everything object you click on in this building gives you some information I would say there has been a lot of scripting done. The tower is self was created by the group Ivory Tower of Prims which contains 376 members, I assume this tower was created by all of these avatars working together.

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How it compares to others

I have only been to a few destinations in Second Life so far, but I would rate this place quite highly as not only is it an impressive sight it is also very useful to improve your knowledge of building with prims.

What your impressions of it are

Overall I was very impressed by the Ivory Tower of Prims, not only because of how useful it is to learn some tricks with using prims. But also by the amount of time it must have taken to put something like this together. It also a good place to meet some other players that a new to Second Life.

 

Minecraft Platform

Who it is developed by

Minecraft was developed by Mojang, the original creator who came up with the idea and created the first version was Markus Persson in 2009. In 2011 Mojang released Minecraft across multiple different platforms such as PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii and more.

It is now the second biggest multi and single-platform game of all time as listed on Wikipedia, to date it has sold over 122 million copies all around the world.

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What functionality it provides

Minecraft is constructed from 3D textured cubes, the player can use these cubes to create anything objects, buildings, tools, weapons and more. Minecraft is made up of worlds, some of which are computer generated and others have been created by other players from around the world. Players can explore different worlds and interact with other people in these worlds, there are also things monsters located in these worlds than can be killed for experience to level the player up.

Minecraft has three different modes:

Survival Mode

This mode of a traditional style, the user has limited resources upon starting and has the acquire these items through exploring and creating. While exploring you also have to maintain things like health and armour, this making it a lot more difficult to build and create objects.

Adventure Mode

Adventure mode is where they player can explore different worlds that have been created by other players, however the player cannot take or edit items in these areas as it is more of an observing and admire mode.

Creation Mode

Creation mode allows the player to have unlimited resources in the game, this allows the player to build and create items a lot easier than the survival mode, you can also fly in this mode to speed things up.

The Imperial Summer Palace Minecraft

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How well it runs

How well Minecraft runs does depend of a few different things, one is the computer or console you are using to play it. Another is what server is hosting the game, because anyone has the ability to host a Minecraft server you connect to many different servers all around the world with different specifications. Overall, I think Minecraft runs extremely well as long as you are not running it on an under powered device.

How it is used

From my understanding, Minecraft is mostly used like other games, for entertainment purposes. While you can interact with other players and build things in the game, you can’t create something from nothing like Second Life.

However from doing some research Minecraft is being used for basic educational purposes like teaching maths to kids, but I think its sole purpose is entertainment.

How it compares to others

The only other platform I can sort of compare to Minecraft would be Second Life, the main similarity they have is that its multi-user and creative. Unlike Second Life, Minecraft has set 3D blocks to build with which you do not have options to mould, sculpt etc. like you do in Second Life although as you can see above you can still create very impressive things.

Minecraft is also good for interaction with other players, allowing you to talk, build and hunt together. However I think Minecraft is still more of a traditional game epically if you are playing the survival mode. So I would probably rate Minecraft better for entertainment but more limited in what you can create.

What your impressions of it are

I have been playing Minecraft on and off with friends for a couple of years now and I think it is a create game. It does depend on what sort of game you are looking for, but I think for a relatively simple idea and graphics Minecraft is a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone to try out!

Second Life Platform

Who it is developed by

Second Life is developed by Linden Lab based in California USA., the founder of Linden Lab was Philip Roseadale.

The initial Idea of having a virtual world was thought of by Philip Roseadale when he was a child, from what Clare was telling us he was inspired by a book that he read (I have forgotten the name). In 2003 Linden Lab launched the first version of Second Life which is still running and played by thousands today.

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What functionality it provides

Second Life provides a huge range of functionality, it allows players to enter a virtual world free of charge and create, explore and interact with other users all around the world.

Users can buy virtual land within Second Life with Linden Dollars which can be purchased with any real currency or selling items they have created in Second Life. The user starts off with an empty patch of grass land which what they want to use it for is completely up to them, they can then use objects such as prims to create virtually anything they can imagine with Second Life’s building tools.

The user can also explore Second Life viewing other people’s creations (some of which are incredible and must have taken a long time to build). They can also interact with other players all around the world and be represented as how they want to through the use of Avatars.

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How well it runs

Although I have not played in many virtual words before I believe that Second Life runs very well. Considering every single object in Second Life is created by someone, and quite often you can have thousands of objects around you it works pretty dam well. Not to add to the fact that you can have multiple users within a piece of land demanding even more performance from the servers.

How it is used

Second Life can be used for a variety of different purposes, from simply wanting to escape the real word for a while, making some new friends, creating various objects, educational purposes and even business purposes.

What you use Second Life for is entirely up to the user on the other side of the screen, Second Life is a bit like the real world but with less rules, you can do whatever your desire.

How it compares to others

Second Life is like nothing I have used before, while I have played various games which also interact with other players it’s hard to compare them to Second Life. Most games I have played have some sort of goal such as levelling up or finishing the game.

However with Second Life this is not the case, it is much more focused on creation and interactions with other users. It really is like nothing I have used before so I can’t really compare it to other platforms because it’s like comparing apples with oranges, they are simply not the same.

What your impressions of it are

I am very impressed with Second Life, at first I didn’t really understand what made it so popular and different from other platforms. After getting more familiar with using Second Life and a better understanding with how it works, I am rather amazed with the amount of things you can do and what people have created.

 

Alchemy Viewer Second Life

 

Who it is developed by

Alchemy Viewer is a third party Second Life viewer created by a team of five people at Alchemy, other than there Second Life names not a lot of information is given about the creator’s real identity. The company originally released their first version of Alchemy in April 2014. However looking at their Second Life avatars account information, most of them have been using Second Life for at least five years, one avatars birthdate listed back to 2009.

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What functionality it provides

At first use Alchemy Viewer’s layout is virtually the same as the Second Life Viewer, no additional icons on screen other that the default and list style drop down menus. It does however in my opinion look a bit more modern with things like the transparent chat and build menu which can be quite useful. From reading through Alchemy’s website, they tend to focus on stability and performance more than the interface design itself.

 

How easy is it to use?

If you are used to using the official Second Life Viewer, you will find Alchemy Viewer easy to use as it’s the same layout other than some visual differences. However if you have never been on Second Life before I would say the usability is okay, but it might take you longer to discover some of the other options in Second Life.

 

How it compares to others

Comparing this viewer with Second Life Viewer I would rate this a better viewer, this is just because I think it is useful having transparent menus such as the chat. It also claims to have better performance and stability and regular updates which is always a good thing.

However, I still prefer using the Firestorm Viewer, this is because I find the interface a lot more user-friendly.

 

What your impressions of it are

I think this is better than the official Second Life Viewer mainly because on the transparency and speed, other than that personally I did not see a lot of difference. I also took the time to talk to some random Avatars in Second Life to find out what they were using. Out of 5 people 4 were using Firestorm the other was using the official viewer, so overall I think Firestorm is still my pick of viewers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firestorm Viewer Second Life

 

Who it is developed by

Firestorm Viewer is developed by The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc, this is a non-profit company made up of 80 volunteers. They are one of few companies that are recognized as an official third party viewer for Second Life by Linden Labs. Their aim is to provide a better viewer than the traditional Second Life viewer created by Linden Labs.

What functionality it provides

In my opinion the main functionality that the Firestorm Viewer provides is the interface, particularly its use of on screen customizable menus. This makes it easy for the users to not only find but explore the many capabilities of Second Life. In the images below you can see some of the many options, all which are customizable so you can arrange your frequently used items.

Top Menu Firestorm Viewer:

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Bottom Menu Firestorm Viewer:

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How easy is it to use?

Logging into Second Life using the Firestorm Viewer is as simple as using the official Second Life viewer, just enter your account details, select the grid and login. Being new to Second Life like myself using the Firestorm Viewer can be a little overwhelming, this is because of the amount of different options on screen.

However I do believe this is also a good thing especially for new users, this is because you can do and explore things that you never knew you could. Once you have familiarised yourself with some of the menus you can begin to customize them to improve your experience, also having recommended destinations on the login screen make its easy to explore the many different locations in Second Life.

Koru, Second Life using Firestorm Viewer:

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How it compares to others

At this stage I have only used two viewers for Second Life. The first being the official Second Life viewer developed by the creators of Second Life, Linden Labs. The other is Firestorm Viewer.

In terms of interface I would say that the Firestorm Viewer is a lot better than the Second Life viewer, this is mostly because of the menu options that I talked about above, you can see the traditional Second Life menu below compared to the Firestorm Menu above. The other benefit I believe that Firestorm Viewer offers over the Second Life Viewer is rendering speed. This is a little bit hard to judge on my PC as its not the best, but Firestorm Viewer does appear to render objects such in the distance faster than the Second Life Viewer.

Bottom Menu Second Life Viewer:

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Side Menu Second Life Viewer:

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Top Menu Second Life Viewer:

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What your impressions of it are

Overall I think that the Firestorm Viewer is a very good viewer for Second Life, and it is also my preferred choice as you may have been able to tell by reading this blog post. At this stage I don’t have any negative views about the Firestorm Viewer.

 

 

Hello World!!

What is a virtual world?

A virtual world is a a virtual environment where people can choose how they’re visually represented (Avatars) and interact with another user through their Avatar. This can be used for various reasons from just having some fun and socializing with friends through to educational purposes and meetings.

 

What is interesting to me about virtual worlds?

On my first year of studying at I.T at NMIT, Clare held and ITC501 class talking about some of the many uses for Virtual Worlds and how they were being used. Since this class I have wanted to take MUV601 to find out more about how there are being used.

 

How important do you think virtual worlds are now?

From some of the uses such as teaching I think virtual worlds a fairly important, although I still have not done much research into the many uses for virtual worlds I can defiantly see some advantages such as distance teaching and/or meetings.

 

How important do you think virtual worlds will be in 5-10 years?

I think as technology progresses such as virtual reality, there will be a lot more interest in virtual worlds like Second Life. This is because using a VR headset with Second Life would be a much more immersed feeling and bring a sense of reality to Second Life.