We travelled north up the strip, and had dinner at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. It was a bit of
a european thing with a bunch of brits, french and germans. This cafe has an
excellent if more limited wine list and we were fortunate to have the advice of
Eric Bezille and Dave Tong. Our waiter was excellent, knew what he was selling
and very patient. It must be hard selling to a bunch of opinionated engineers.
We talked about a number of things, of which one was second life. If you've
been following the suncec2007 technorati feed,
you may know that we broadcast the general sessions into various rooms of
second life and some of us have been preparing for the conference by signing up
and preparing our accounts. Sun also haven experimental virtual world, about which you can find out more at Horst Thieme's blog.
I don't think I spent as much time there as some of my colleagues, but the
second life team had built a Vegas virtual world representing the two hotels we
actually used. Now since one of these was the Paris, or is that Paris, we have
a software implementation, of an imitation of a real place. Very eXtisenz! In
fact, the first time it went onto the screen, Dan Berg on the stage in an
imitation of Paris, met Dan Berg in Second Life, in a virtual imitation of
Paris. This is odd, nearly as odd as Las Vegas. I didn't think highly of the
video quality and wonder if it was due to the number of people in the 'island'.
My feeling is that the virtual worlds will take off as we develop new
metaphors for problem solving. I wonder if one modelled a data centre, for
instance, if you could enhance the systems management console, by for instance
illustrating where jobs were using colour coded object overlays and illustrate
the system utilisation. Visualising the temperature of the air and the systems
would also be possible. This is a fairly poor example of what I mean in that
new problem visualisation techniques are required that rely on having three
dimensions (or more) and the 3D value becomes compelling. (I am not sure the
above example is.) I have not yet tried to have a virtual meeting in Second
Life, so I can't comment as to how effective it is in replacing the conference
call, but there now a number of desktop tools that enhance the conference call,
and second life conferences can't be joined if participants only have a phone,
although the voice quality might be mightily enhanced by the necessity to use a
laptop, connect to the internet and use voice over ip.
Mike Ramchand & Olaf Schnapauff also explored the theory that the Linden
Lab scripting language didn't enable any insight into the problems being
represented. One manipulates second life, and doesn't model reality, or even the
virtual reality of the problem.
I am not sure I get it as a game, but if Second Life remains merely a
virtual reality implementation of the real world, while it may not fail, it
will not become the next big thing.
If you havn't already, see also "GetaFirstLife".
tags: technology suncec2007 winebar booze food+drink
tapas lasvegas secondlife virtualworlds