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Mixed-Reality Party In DC and Second Life

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the strange-ideas-and-stranger-places dept.

133

Jerry23 writes "This Saturday The Happening will bring Second Life to first life. The Electric Sheep Company, a new metaverse developer, has virtually recreated R&B Coffee in Washington DC for use in a mixed-reality party and benefit for the DC art scene and several local nonprofits. Real people will mingle with avatars via realtime video projections in the real and virtual R&B spaces, and MAKE Magazine's Phillip Torrone will be on-hand showing off his homemade Virtual Reality headsets and gloves. The whole world is invited to attend in DC or Second Life, whichever's closer for you." This is just conceptually a weird idea to me.

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DC (0, Offtopic)

Computeradam (948872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724407)

I hope its better then the virtualboy from nintendo.. (Heh 1st one to post!)

Re:DC (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724587)

I hope its better then the virtualboy from nintendo.

Um, yeeeeaah. Homebrew VR equipment was available in far better quality than the Virtual Boy at the time of its release. As the Virtual Reality Contruction Kit [amazon.com] by Joe Gradecki explained, a simple, hi-res Head Mounted Display could be built by canabalizing parts from a portable television or laptop display. Given that homebrewers tended to lack sophisticated tools, it was generally recommended that homebrewers build a single screen device rather than trying to work out the optics for a dual-display device. (One display for each eye.) However, he did include instructions for building such a device, though the optics weren't cheap.

The data glove was easily supplied by purchasing a Nintendo Power Glove and building a NES -> Parallel port adaptor. Such an adaptor was nothing more than a matter of soldering a few wires together. (I still have mine stitched together with electrical tape. I was too lazy to solder it after testing. :P) The communications protocol used by the Power Glove had long been decoded, so programming for it was quite easy.

His book also contained instructions on how to build a HMD boom for position tracking, and how to code for these devices. All released before the market had even heard of the Virtual Boy.

Here's a tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725650)

(Heh 1st one to post!)

Not that your post is interesting or contributes substantially to the discussion, but if you hadn't sandbagged your comment with that obvious remark, you might have avoided getting downmodded.

Fantastic! (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724452)

Since I live near DC, I can actively ignore, with extreme prejudice, both the online and the real-world pieces of this simultaneously! We live in amazing times.

Should come as no surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725777)

...that this is going on in a city with a very high tolerence for 'Mixed-Reality'.

Snowcrash (5, Informative)

Artie_Effim (700781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724459)

we are getting closer and closer to meat/meta-space duality. assuming you have read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowcrash [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Snowcrash (2)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724893)

Its a shame you post at -1 by default as that was actually pretty informative. I might have to get hold of a copy of that book.

Re:Snowcrash (0, Troll)

mikeytwice (887535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726027)

Snowcrash is the first novel I've ever stopped reading halfway through. It's atrocious. The story is miserable and poorly written, and Stepehenson's techno-slang is ridiculous and amounts to dropping the first syllable off of words. For a while, I had no idea how Stephenson was able to trick people into thinking he was worthwhile. Then I hung out with some hackers.

Re:Snowcrash (1)

Loren_Burlingame (787768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726131)

You obviously missed the whole point of the book.

Re:Snowcrash (1)

savorymedia (938523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725289)

HA! I'm actually re-reading Snowcrash at the moment. :D

Re:Snowcrash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726287)

Can't people remember True Names anymore?

Here it is at last! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14724462)

The first Slashdot story that I cannot understand one single word of!!

Re:Here it is at last! (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724478)

The first Slashdot story that I cannot understand one single word of!!

You must be new here. Welcome!

Re:Here it is at last! (3, Informative)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724584)

Second life [secondlife.com] is a free MMO in which the players create and trade content for in game currentcy which is called Linden dollars. Yoou can also buy and sell the in world currency for U.S. dollars.

I got on and played around with it for about 2 hours last night. While it's an interesting concept and neat to explore and talk to people. I havent really found anything yet that would want to make me place a huge time investment into it. I'll probably try it out a bit more and see if I find anything look me up if you get on my name is Darthmalt Demar.

Location location location... (2, Insightful)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724511)

Too bad this "happening" is in a corner of town most people wouldn't set foot in at gunpoint...or if they did, likely would be. Sorry, twenty-five bucks to loiter around a coffee-house next to a shooting gallery to watch someone's laptop screen projected on the wall?

LAME.

Re:Location location location... (0, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724679)

Parent is not flamebait. Parent is, alas, correct.

Re:Location location location... (3, Informative)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724871)

...not that Adams Morgan is much better, but seriously, if they want this to be taken seriously in a town like Washington, certainly if they want to attach themselves to the "burgeoning art community," they'd best locate themselves somewhere remotely near it, say the U-Street corridor or 13th street or something. Hell, Landover has more going on than H street.

Bottom line is that not even people who live in NE (like, me for instance) want to hang on H Street, certainly not those who can shell-out $25 for a "happening." Since there are SOOOOO many locations in Washington that this would work in, this choice of venue makes me think "easy money, no cred."

Re:Location location location... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725704)

I think they should locate it around 14th and K NW, so when things get boring, people can step outside and purchase a quick round of fellatio.

Re:Location location location... (1)

ezeecheez (931550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725975)

I thought SE was the rough part of DC? What do I know, I've been away for years...

Re:Location location location... (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725970)

While the overall message is correct, the post is most definitely flamebait.. unless you believe that everyone walking around in NE gets held up. Sadly, there are people who live both in the District and the metro area who believe this. When I told people at my workplace that I, a white male, was living in Southwest, their eyes widened with fright. On my first day, one woman joked, "Well, hopefully you'll make it back alive tomorrow." When we were looking for apartments, one couple told us they would not even travel outside NW.. and would not go any more east than 14th St. Ridiculous.

Aw, c'mon (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724705)

No less surreal than the stuff happening in the White House or Congress.
Cheney jokes are way too obvious here.

Re:Location location location... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726069)

Hey I fully agree with you, but think back to when things where when all you could get were a cup of coffee and a jukebox...LOL

Also, mixed reality guys ( /. types that like to send me pratical jokes on myspace ) and you know how you are, *PLEASE STOP ANNOYING ME WITH BS PRANKS*

Yes, this is Vicki McPherson posting as an AC, but I am not a coward though, let me alone....

It'd be more interesting... (0, Offtopic)

daranz (914716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724525)

It would be more interesting if it was WoW, or something similar. Instead of the sole purpose being socializing, you could actually get to bash some skulls in with an axe... virtually, and for real.

Re:I dunno about that... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724750)

Could you only imagine if the guy from the "YOU STOLE MY F***ING CLOUD SONG!!" [google.com] audio clip showed up to your WoW party.

It wouldn't be pretty. I'd dare say the neighbors might be calling the cops on that event.

Re:I dunno about that... (1)

svip (678490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725284)

And that wasn't even from WoW.

Can anyone say Lag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14724549)

"The whole world is invited to attend in DC or Second Life..."

I don't know how many people can fit into the real world show area, but Second Life has a limit on how many users can be logged into one area at any given time. Not to mention that as it approaches that limit lag increases.

Obviously, no one will show up in the real world.. (0, Troll)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724554)

...I mean, virtually, these people are not obese, smell horrible, or live trite, meaningless lives in their parents' basements. Why would you want to show up in person and shatter your suspension of disbelief?

Snowcrash (1, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724557)

Things transpiring now remind me a lot of the first couple chapters of snowcrash. Soon we'll be living in U-stor-its.

Re:Snowcrash (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724906)

"Soon we'll be living in U-stor-its."

I live in California on $80,000 a year[1], where do you think I live, you insensitive clod?

Seriously, though, people do live in storage facilities. It's not legal, but it's the only option other than homelessness for some people.

[1] Not really. No one can afford to live in CA on $80k a year, even in a U-Stor-It.

Oblig. Futurama Quote (3, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725230)

Fry: "Do refrigerators still come in boxes in the future?"
Bender: "Yeah, but the rent is atrocious."

maybe so (4, Insightful)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724582)

This is just conceptually a wierd idea to me.

Maybe so, but your kids will love it.

Re:maybe so (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725400)

I hope to god, not.

I'd rather that they have a life, not a make-believe one.

While MMORPGs and games are nice to an extent for the odd hour or two, this is just taking those to an extreme. Sheesh, get a life people.

Go out there and play a sport, climb a mountain or go to a party, rather than sitting in a virtual glorified chat room and getting your social fix.

Seriously, this is a disturbing trend - just *why*? Spending an odd hour or two is one thing, obsessing over this stuff and paying huge sums of money for virtual things and taking it so far is completely another thing.

Re:maybe so (3, Insightful)

saltydogdesign (811417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725840)

I'd rather that they have a life, not a make-believe one.

What could be more real than what your senses tell you is real? To paraphrase Videodrome, the computer screen is the retina of the mind's eye.

Re:maybe so (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726022)

I'm sure that's what folks that take LSD and smoke crack say, too.

After all, what's more real than what my brain tells me is real, right?

Blech.

Re:maybe so (1)

saltydogdesign (811417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726061)

Hey, if you want to deny 3000 years of Western philosophy (about half of it anyway) with a glib remark, be my guest. I did.

Re:maybe so (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726192)

Hey, come on. The reality-is-what-my-brain tells me is a load of crap.

You may have a pr0n setup in the future where you might think you're having sex, but it's not the real thing.

Reality and perception are two entirely different things. IMHO, blah blah.

Re:maybe so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726397)

Seriously - how do you know what is reality without perceiving it? Do you not rely on your senses to dictate what is real and what is not? And when sufficient emulation of all senssory input is possible, will you be able to distinguish between the two? Of course not. The only question is whether sufficient emulation of all sensory input will be possible.

Re:maybe so (0, Troll)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726142)

Seriously, this is a disturbing trend - just *why*? Spending an odd hour or two is one thing, obsessing over this stuff and paying huge sums of money for virtual things

What, like shares? Or numbers in a bank account?

Re:maybe so (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726166)

What the hell are you talking about?

Those things have tangible benefits.

Those shares may earn me privileges (e.g. being on the board of company and making *real* money that I can buy my next car with). The shares and the numbers in a bank account are tangible - you can have hard cash in return. It's just a convenience method of storing them.

Things like second life are virtualizing your *life*. Second life? Why should I bother having my avatar do stupid things when I can go ahead and do those things in my real life?

Why should I spend that time cooped up in front of a screen when you can get out and have a *real* life?

Re:maybe so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726339)

"The shares and the numbers in a bank account are tangible - you can have hard cash in return."

You apparently don't know that content creators make a good amount of real money in SL.

Re:maybe so (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726441)

I'm not talking about the content creators, I'm talking of end users.

What does paying real $$$ for a piece of land in a virtual environment give me? Or what does paying real $$$ for a stupid virtual costume get me?

I'd much rather buy real land and real clothes. :-/

Re:maybe so (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726457)

Face it: you're just an old fart with romantic ideas about the meatspace-way lives were lived in the past.

The future will increasingly be about the merger of old and new media; of human and machine intelligence. You can (and will) certainly protest that, and your kids will rightly rebel.

Re:maybe so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725475)

When I was younger there was something quite similar to this set up at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation. Big screen monitors, which displayed a locally networked world similar to Second Life, were set up all around the campus. People could come up to a terminal, choose an avatar, and walk around talking to other avatars which were represented by the people using the other terminals. People would gather around these setups and marvel at the fact that somebody right next to them was interacting quite naturally with a "virtual person" (who was really just upstairs or in the adjacent room).

Re:maybe so (2, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726007)

Maybe so, but your kids will love it.

And I will beat them for it.

Uhhh, What?? (0, Troll)

wiggles (30088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724600)

This Saturday The Happening will bring Second Life to first life. The Electric Sheep Company, a new metaverse developer, has virtually recreated R&B Coffee in Washington DC for use in a mixed-reality party and benefit for the DC art scene and several local nonprofits.

1) What's "The Happening"?

2) What's "Second Life"?

3) What's "The Electric Sheep Company"?

4) How are they developing Stephenson's "Metaverse"?

5) What's "R&B Coffee"?

6) What's a "Mixed Reality Party"

This could very well be the most pretentious article posted to Slashdot I've ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

Re:Uhhh, What?? (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724671)

1) What's "The Happening"?

Click on the link.

2) What's "Second Life"?

Click on the link.

3) What's "The Electric Sheep Company"?

Click on the link. (I suppose they should get brownie points for the Blade Runner/"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" reference.)

4) How are they developing Stephenson's "Metaverse"?

See the link to Second Life for more info.

5) What's "R&B Coffee"?

Damn good question.

6) What's a "Mixed Reality Party"

RTFSummary.

Re:Uhhh, What?? (0, Troll)

AlterTick (665659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724873)

Click on the link. ... Click on the link. ... Click on the link. ... See the link to Second Life for more info.

Traditionally one replies to such questions en masse with the simple one liner "RTFA", rather than creating a 24 line content-free reply.

Re:Uhhh, What?? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725156)

Ah, but it's so much more fun to drive the point home by repeating yourself. :-P

Re:Uhhh, What?? (1)

AlterTick (665659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726431)

Ah, but it's so much more fun to drive the point home by repeating yourself. :-P

True, I grant you that.

Re:Uhhh, What?? (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725228)

Google is your friend: R&B Coffee [rnbcoffee.com] .

Seriously, it's like people expect Slashdot articles to only cover what they already know. Heaven forbid the click on a link and be horribly exposed to new information.

Replies (2, Informative)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724732)

Well, most of those are answered in the article links, but;

Second Life is sort of a MMORPG, except without the RPG part. It's a big virtual world, where anyone can create just about anything out of primitive building blocks and scripts (provided you can figure out how to do whatever it is you want to do in the somewhat convoluted Linden Scripting Language). I'd say Second Life is a very close match to Stephenson's metaverse, without any of the rest of what this article is talking about. It's very similar; virtual land owners with shops selling all manner of things, big "Sandboxes" out in the desert where people race huge vehicles and build all manner of crazy things, and people whose avatars resemble just about anything and everything.

Evidently some company is setting up a party, where they've recreated a coffee shop from real life on an island in Second Life. Somehow they're going to make it so people in the coffee shop in real life can see the people in Second Life and vice versa (presumably a big projector and camera in RL, and a streaming video screen and an observer in SL).

Re:Uhhh, What?? (1)

Tanamo (945016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724739)

I've seen more pretentious stories (usually in Wired), but this one is particularly painful, and would be right at home in Private Eye's "Pseud's Corner"!

Re:Uhhh, What?? (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725003)

This could very well be the most pretentious article posted to Slashdot I've ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

I see Mondo 2000 is writing articles again, making up buzzwords from out of nowhere.

Re:Uhhh, What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725267)

Second life is an online virtual world. So, what is needed for something to be like the Metaverse? In my opinion that will be a virtual world with photorealistic graphics, realistic physics and advanced capabilities for its users to create the world and in-world services.

Second Life is still a bit primitive is this regard, but it's the best there is. I remember the first virtual online worlds I saw back around 94 or so, they really sucked. A bit later came Active World, in my opinion that sucked too, so much that i wasn't usable. Second Life is the first virtual online world that is starting to get usable. It's not a game in itself, but can be used to make games.

The graphics in Second Life is still far from photorealistic, eveything is streamed over the internet so it's limited by bandwith and also that today's computers are still too slow. Most of the things in-world are created by users. The objects are made of something called primitives, that each has a set of parameters stored on a server. When you go somewhere these parameters are streamed from a server and plugged into some algorithm in the client that will turn them into 3D objects and render them. In many cases this can use less bandwith than meshes, but support for meshes made in software like Maya and 3D studio is eventually inevitable and necessary and has been used in earlier worlds like Active Worlds. It's currently starting to get interesting, but it give 5 more years and it should start to get good.

The physics is the Havok 1 physics engine, it's pretty basic and the collision detection is a bit inaccurate. Havok 3 is currently in the process of being implemented as a replacement for Havok 1, it should improve the situation quite a bit, but realistic realtime physics simulation still requires more horsepower than is available today at a reasonable price. Especially in an environment like this where there can be lots of users on one server who're all interacting with the physics engine in more or less complex ways. Faster CPUs and perhaps physics processing units has the potential to make this much better in a few years. Don't get me wrong, the physics is still good for many things, it's already possible to create simple mechanical devices like catapults, but complex mechanical machines are still a bit off.

Second Life has a built-in scripting language called LSL, the langauge is not very mature and developing complex things takes much more work than would be needed with a more mature language, although it's still good for simple things. Mono is currently in the process of being implemented on SL servers as a replacement for the current virtual machine. It's only in testing stages yet though so it's probably a few months until it's installed on user accessible servers. Mono as the virtual machine will eventually later this year mean that it will be possible to write code in C#, Boo, Python or whatever instead of using LSL(LSL will still be available but won't be developed more as a language). This will basically mean that you can use the publically available SL API (found at http://secondlife.com/badgeo/wakka.php?wakka=funct ions [secondlife.com] ) with any programming language that is supported by Mono. This API is still a bit high-level which makes some things impossible to make, but it's slowly moving forward.

you suck at the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725390)

links are hard!

OMG, so it begins! (3, Funny)

Arwing (951573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724647)

This reminds me of an article i read somewhere and it talked about the next generation of MMORPG where people would go online to watch a movie (stream) shopping (Amazon/eBay) using their avatars, and meet and social like they would in real life instead of yelling "LFG Emperor run1!!11". Walking down the virtual isle of amazon, hitting on another hot avatar and going to watch a movie at iTune theatre, is it really that hard to imagine?
Okay, it is, but who knows, when we turn 60, that maybe the social norm.

Re:OMG, so it begins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14724791)

I hit 60 almost a year ago.

nub.

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724866)

I can hardly wait! We'll have recreated life in its entirety! And when I can eat, shit, and drink online...
Um...
... It'll be just like real life, except with fewer ugly people. Erm...
yay?

Re:OMG, so it begins! (2, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724970)

No, no, the people are still ugly... just their avatars aren't. ;)

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725348)

I'm still waiting for Virtual Jobs to support your Virtual Life. Then you can work at a thankless job all day just so you can go home and relax by working at a thankless Virtual Job all night! Isn't technology wonderful?

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726271)

You can stop waiting right now [mechmind.com] . (They even sell Daleks!)

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726317)

I'm not following you. What does a Dalek avatar have to do with working a virtual job?

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726308)

And of course right after I post, I finally find a better link:

Wired News: Making a Living in Second Life [wired.com]

(The article also amused me because I attended Grinnell College -- I wonder if any of the developers did).

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726390)

But see, Second Life allows you to simulate Entreprenuralship, not working for someone else at a thankless job. Becoming an entreprenure is a huge step up for most people. Call me when there are Second Life jobs that have you stuck in a little cube pounding out spreadsheets and word documents. :-P

Re:OMG, so it begins! (3, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724882)

That's pretty much what Second Life is.

I don't personally dig the shopping, though the girlfriend of a friend of mine loves that part, but for geeks the platform is pretty cool. I spent a few days playing with it in early January, and while it has a lot of problems it has even more potential. The name is a bit weird, a real turnoff for some, but if you can get over your pre-conceptions about the people in the world you'll find not only a truly impressive piece of technology but lots of perfectly sane, normal and yes even quite attractive people who get a kick out of building things.

Think of it as the equivalent of freenode IRC but for arty types and you're about 50% of the way there.

Re:OMG, so it begins! (2, Funny)

Merle Darling (33121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725723)

Let's not forget the real reason most people seem to play SL.. PORN! God, it's everywhere. You can't swing a virtual cat by its tail without hitting a shop selling porn movies/pictures, fetish gear, whores, stupid bling-encrusted avatars with OMG REAL 3D NIPPLEZORZ AND POOBIC HARE!!11

It's been said before, but there's a lot of potential in SL. There are also a lot of creative, talented people there.. but unfortunately it seems the majority of them are too busy jacking off to do anything really interesting. Welcome to the future, hand towels are in the line on the left, lube on the right.

Re:OMG, so it begins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725652)

This post, along with several others and the previous story about the military and video games, gave me an idea of where politics, virtualization, communication, and war might be heading. I know I know, but bear with me for a moment ......

What if (now keep your mind open for a few more seconds), now what if, in the future, war, disputes, and differences were settled virtually, with the outcomes accepted in the real world.

In war, take America's army. now put it into place with 30 years advancement in technology. Your conflicting countries battle virtually, online. Imagine FPS' type scenario, where your 1 soldier online, is 1 person in real life. You negate the human loss cost of war. I imagine it as virtual real-time RISK, with real world consequences, that affect reality as we know it.

This is all a pipe dream though, and physical force will always be necessary as human differences are a human condition.

Just thought I'd share that little daydream...

I don't see myself as a futurist, but perhaps I should write a book.

Re:OMG, so it begins! (1)

Polyhazard (730570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725764)

This reminds me of an article i read somewhere and it talked about the next generation of MMORPG where people would go online to watch a movie (stream)

Actually, I've got a Second Life account and one of the first few times I tried it out I found a "virutal MST3k meeting." It was actually pretty entertaining. Everyone's avatars sat down and watched a stream of old teen hygeine and drug scare videos from archive.org on the "screen" inside the game and chatted snarky comments about the feature.

pretty cool stuff, actually. Second Life is cool mainly becuase of the creative ways users manipulate it.

Dear CmdrTaco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14724682)

I believe this story is mis-categorized as 'games'. Please create and move to the new "society-is-going-to-hell" category. There should be plenty of similiar stories to fit into this new section. Thanks.

The New Reality (4, Insightful)

airship (242862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724717)

This may be weird now, but get used to it. The future is the virtual overlaid on the real, and vice-versa. The lines are blurring. In twenty years, maybe even ten, it will be considered quaint and old-fashioned to make a distinction between the two.

Re:The New Reality (1)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725797)

Does this mean you'll be able to do anything in the real world through virtual means? Will we be able to solve the overcrowding problem by taking volunteers to be put into stasis and live out their entire lives in a virtual sense?

Re:The New Reality (1)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725998)

I hope you read this again in 10 or 20 years so you can learn just how silly making predictions that far in the future about society is. I'll give you a hint - it has a twist ending!

insightful? (1)

karzan (132637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726110)

In twenty years, maybe even ten, it will be considered quaint and old-fashioned to make a distinction between the two.

So in ten to twenty years, computers will be able to directly interface with the human nervous system and stimulate smell, taste, touch, vision, and hearing, as well as detect and respond to motion etc? The only way it could ever be 'quaint' to make a distinction between reality and computer simulation is if computers can do this. Otherwise, you will always be missing something, and reality will always very different.

And what's more, the other distinction between the two is that in 'virtual reality', you cannot make the things you need to survive, because what you are doing has no effects on the real world. Whether or not you like it, we humans are animals, we need food, water, shelter, clothing, medicine, etc. Those things can only be made in the real world. That is why we spend our time in this 'real world' rather than spending all our time fantasising about fantasy worlds, that is why people don't spend all their time playing MUDs or glorified MUDs (i.e. MMORPGs), NOT because they aren't technically sophisticated enough, but because they aren't REAL, and we ARE.

While your post makes a good premise for a dystopian comic book, it bears little relevance to reality.

Worse then visualizing a mobius strip (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724746)

I read the summary three times and I jsut can't figure it out. Maybe I'm art challanged or something, but my imagination has live people bumping into each other while where goggles and gloves. Those who distain wearing the accoutremonts of VR will have a great chuckle seeing the "live" folks" trying to interact with VR folks. I hope there is a video of this after it's over for that is the only way it will make sense to me.

This must be the modern version of a masked ball.

Wait a minute (2, Funny)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724779)

If they're projecting avatars for SL into a real life place, does that mean we can finally arrest the avatars for indecent exposure?

Snow Crash (2, Informative)

Captain_Chaos (103843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724802)

I'm telling you, the world of Snow Crash [amazon.com] is becoming a reality faster and faster. I always forget how old that book is (1992!), it's turning out to be pretty visionary! I'm off to buy my Metaverse deck...

Re:Snow Crash (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726080)

Captain Chaos...

Aren't you supposed to be dead? :P

Interesting idea... (1)

fleck_99_99 (223900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724842)

I once went to something like this, at the Alliance Chautauquas Conference, Boston 1999. Neat idea, though a lot of the technology wasn't quite there. There were a series of art exhibits around the campus that were in one fashion or another "linked" to objects in a virtual-world "art exhibit." Some of the cooler ones even had ways that viewers in RL could interact with viewers in the software.

There may not be a lot of direct practical application of this stuff (yet), but it would definitely be interesting to see how this could work out with a virtual world that has a higher population than the one at the Chautauquas conference. (That one was fairly limited, as the only access was through pretty high-end SGI stations.)

I guess it's all in how this is approached, but it seems more like a neat technology demo than "pretentiousness" to me. Certainly, it's not a huge logical leap from "fun" interaction like this to "meaningful" real-life/virtual-world interaction.

$20 admission (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724863)

They're charging $20 (advance purchase) or $25 (at the door) to participate in the meatspace-portion of this event. Soooo .... they're expecting to get about $80 of revenue for this thing? The main incentive for participating is vacuous at best. I can watch someone fumble about with a VR helmet on? I might get to see this Make Magazine guy's wifi laptop with some uncomfortable-looking VR gadgets dangling off it?

The venue isn't large, so chewing up half the available space for the projector will cramp things further. I can't see a NE coffee shop shooing away regular paying customers, so I'd expect a fair number of non-participants to be crammed into the mix as well.

This thing is a train wreck that hasn't left the station yet.

(ps: I should probably have a second cup of coffee before posting to /.)

I want to kill my boss... (2, Funny)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724881)

As long as they don't attempt to turn this into the scene from Minority Report, when the tech/hologram guy is showing off the "good clean fun," it's harmless.

wow just wow (2, Funny)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724892)

Thank you internet for making it possible for me to go to a coffee shop and talk to a projected image. I might as well stay home, get drunk and yell at the tv during a Cheers re-run.

Heyyyy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725335)

how did you know about my mixed-reality Cheers event?

Re:wow just wow (1)

saltydogdesign (811417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725873)

The TV won't talk back to you.

Unless you get drunk enough.

I wish VR gear was better and cheaper. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724898)

Second life would make a decent app to have VR in, but I wish VR would come down in price and have better resolution.

Anyone have any VR head gear units they'd recommend or any news about VRDs? (virtual retina displays) I'd love to get one for the "cool factor" but I don't want to sink money into something that is going to be obsolete in 6 months and gives me a head ache after 15 minutes of use.

Re:I wish VR gear was better and cheaper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725656)

Microvision (http://microvision.com/ [microvision.com] ) make virtual retinal display's. The full color version is currently only for military use, mainly because it's big, heavy and expensive. They're currently making new versions with MEMS that hopefully will hit the consumer market in 3-5 years.

Re:I wish VR gear was better and cheaper. (2, Informative)

bigpat (158134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726356)

I have eMagin's Z800 3dVisor [amazon.com] (It is from the company that came out with the borglike EyeBud [slashdot.org] prototype at CES)

The Z800 is the real deal for $900, with dual 800x600 OLED displays which are much better higher quality than LCDs at that small size. If you have followed HMDs, it is a big leap in quality for under $1000. Stereoscopic 3d with headtracking in First Person shooters and flight sims is really cool. I haven't tried any MMORPGs with it. You can find out more about at their website [emagin.com] .

Getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14724914)

I didn't understand any of this. I think I'm getting old.

Oh dear! Only 30 too!

Ouchie (2, Interesting)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14724964)

donations in Linden Dollars will be accepted, converted to US$, and transferred to The Happening's funds.

Not a bad idea, but I hope they realize the outgoing and incomming exchange rates are different between US$ and L$. If you're thinking "Ok, I'll give them $5 worth of L$ as a donation" they're only going to get about $2.50 back out of the game. If you really want to donate, better to just send them a check. It's why I can't believe anybody makes any actual money off this game. Between the disadvantageous outgoing rate and the US$50, $100, $200+ tier fee (rent for the land) per month it's amazing anybody breaks even on real-world expenses, let alone turn a profit. Maybe they don't, and just have a bunch of really nice in-game cars! Which are a total PITA to drive, bty.

Re:Ouchie (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726060)

Actually, it's not that bad. There's a $0.30 buyer's fee and a 3.5% sellers fee on LindeX the L$ currency exchange run by Linden Lab the makers of Second Life. Other L$ currency exchanges charge similar overall rates.

Re:Ouchie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726406)

$5.00 becomes $2.50? If you're getting that badly ripped off, you should probably stop dealing with IGE.

That's hot! (1)

coldnebo (901677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725057)

Sounds like a great place to pick up chicks! And at least 50% of the time you'll be able to tell whether or not that hot looking elf is really a 45-year old guy.

Argh. (5, Informative)

Ketnar (415489) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725081)

Well looks like they got slashdotted again.

I'm one of the guys doing the streaming video. (praying that the bandwidth at this shop is enough to do the job, which we check today in fact.) Thats about the reach of my involvment, show up, hook things up, point the camera so the people in VR can see/hear whats going on, provide the streamer and the bandwidth, etc. They just call us up when they need it done.

We also did the new york SLCC event (which was made problematic due to L3 and cogent crapping on each other at the same time),but it was more or less the same idea at the NY law school. Was actualy quite cool!

It sounds weird from the outside, but it's a neat trick to pull off. It's a very sureal connection when you have a copy of a real place with real people being shown in an exact copy of the same place in VR and vice versa. You have instances where people look back and forth at each other and wave or talk across a digital void. It's just not something you commonly see every day.

Think of it as a RL/VR two way mirror.

It also has its entertaining moments. For example, the VR streaker running by the VR camera wearing black censor bars in the middle of some linden's speech, projected in giant bold clarity beind them.

But aside from that, I just hope this shop isnt running some lame ISDN modem or something like that.

And now, for shameless plugging. Servercave.com, thats us. Yup. We do it for the advertizing, because we can. (Because last time, they didn't get our link up till nearly /after/ the event in NY.... ;)

Re:Argh. (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725478)

So, this is a scheduled, advertised event, which people are supposed to pay to attend, and it's not clear to the technical staff whether the pipe to the venue is big enough to meet bandwidth needs? wow......

Scary (1)

kurbchekt (890891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725104)

After following the link to his home-made VR goggles and gloves, did anyone else find it disturbing that he has a female mannequin in his house?

WTF? (1)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725187)

I bet most of you thought that WTF? in the subject was for the article but you were wrong it's for the posts. people seem to be really bashing this idea but I think it's great. i do play Second Life a little I get bored quick as there aren't any monsters to bash unless you go get a lot of extra stuff. Anyways I love the idea of blurring the line of MMOs and reality. As people have said this would be even better if it where WOW. you would have to use fake weapons of course but it would be lots of fun. I know I use big clubs that I claim is a sword and bash people over the head every weekend. Check it out http://www.sca.org/ [sca.org] , it's a blast if you like clubbing people and drinking a whole lot of liquor. You do have to dress in funny clothes but hey you get to club people and where else can you do that legally. if you live in the south there is a huge event in March, Gulf Wars, http://www.gulfwars.org/ [gulfwars.org] , lots of fun check it out. Anyways I hope this starts something and we see more of it. As for the whole ruining of the fantasy part, if you don't know that the really hot girl is probably not really hot or even a girl you need a reality check real bad.

big deal (1)

axiome (782782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725201)

I for one am waiting for the mixed reality World of Warcraft party. Can't wait to see what combustion+pyroblast plus epic trinkets will do to a car!

Sheep Island (1)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725207)

Anybody have the coordinates for their island? I can't find it in 'find'. Site says it should be up this week for exploration. Thanks!

Re:Sheep Island (2, Insightful)

Gwyneth_Llewelyn (892568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726105)

MattGWU, I've just checked with one of the guys from the Electric Sheep Company, the Sheep island is still "closed", and will be open only to the ones that join the group "The Happening", and available to visit during Saturday.

Mind you, this thread has been interesting -- it reminded me of the days people on BBSes were discussing why they should download a "graphic Web browser" for connecting to the Web, which had, at that time, only a tiny fraction of the content (and the interest!) of BBSes...

I still find it amusing to watch how difficult this concept is when explained to people who are at the forefront of the technology (slashdotters) and who have been reading Gibson, Sterling, Stephenson, Tad Williams, and similar SF authors for the past decades, and most definitely have seen the Matrix and all its sequels.

Maybe it's hard to understand that all those concepts are now "true" -- people can live and work in virtual realities these days, they have companies for doing work with virtual realities, they do mixed meetings (half of the attendance is physically present on the conference room, the other half attends virtually from the comfort of their homes and with a computer in front of them). Ok, so, it sounds like science fiction. So what? In 1980, if you'd tell your friends that one day, the whole western population would have a cheap (US$ 25) cellular phone in their pockets to talk to anybody at any time, without wires, people would laugh at you or even try to get you into an asylum...

Current virtual realities are not photorealistic, neither do they require goggles or bodysuits, and the neural interface, while on the works (yes, really!) is still too clumsy to be taken seriously. So what? Things have to start somewhere. So the best you can do these days is 30-40 fps on a 2000x1500 screen, and not yet ray tracing for photorealism? Hooray! It's a first step! Tomorrow, it'll be bigger; in ten years, you'll have ray-tracing chips on your Pentium VII @ 1 THz and 20 TByte RAM, for perhaps US$1000 (complete with goggles). Or perhaps it'll be in twenty years -- who knows? The point is, current virtual realities still feel like the BBSes from the 1980s -- but they're here, they're working, they have hundreds of thousands users online who understand what you can do with them... you have to start somewhere!

Imagine Marc Andreesen in front of a 1980s BBS and dreaming about a graphical browser. Imagine that he had given up and said "it's hopeless, all we have now to chat is a text-based interface, computers/networks will never evolve fast enough to give us nice graphics on a browser". What would the world look like?

To go towards the ultimate goal -- virtual realities as commonplace as cellular phones -- you have to start somewhere. Events like "The Happening" are a stepping stone towards that goal. Yes, you can now attend conferences/meetings using virtual realities and two-way, in-world video. 10 years ago we cheered having people doing conferences on IRC! Look at how far we have gone -- now our "IRC" includes a 3D world, avatars, and video/audio streaming, all at the same time! Still, it looks and feels IRCish. But that's fine! We "accused" IRC to look BBSquish as well...

uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14725567)

Having attended and having help design similar events for NGO's their are quite a few--er umm 'no no's' here. Not the least of wich is: venue, hosting, and to many "cool" concepts to make it cohsive. It also looks like someone fergot to invite their VC/foundation (also a no-no). As other posters have noted- venue uis the major concern-I have no doubt that a few capital in-kinds so as to include transportation to/from (a must with a bar) and to a major art scene that's acessible in terms of location and clientel would have made it more engaging and 'fun'.

Don't forget (1)

big c0ward (935848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14725963)

If you actually want some coffee, you still only have one option.
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