Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2016 HG: What are: Hypergrid? OpenSim? Virtual worlds?

What are:  Hypergrid? OpenSim? Virtual worlds.
With growing interest in virtual worlds, OpenSim and the Hypergrid, we need some clarification of what these terms mean.  People who come into an OpenSim world after years of experience in Second Life find the world quite familiar, but easily overlook the important differences.  People looking into virtual worlds for the first time may easily overlook Hypergrid and OpenSim worlds because these do not advertise widely. This article provides an overview of virtual worlds and shows how OpenSim and Hypergrid fit in. 

  • Virtual world: a simulated 3 dimensional environment with users appearing as avatars
  • OpenSimulator: Open-source software that creates and runs virtual worlds 
  • Hypergrid: Set of conventions that allows avatars to move from one grid to another
  • (More after the break)
  • Where is Arcadia?


          Virtual worlds

          A virtual world is a computer-simulated three dimensional environment populated by multiple users.  Each user is usually represented by an avatar, which is usually a graphic representation of a human, a creature or robot.  The multiple users can walk around in the virtual world and communicate with each other, usually in normal voice (wearing a headset with earphones and microphone).   
          Second Life is probably the best known virtual world.  It has been in operation since 2003 and has many of the features that people are accustomed to use in the "real" world.    That includes a virtual currency, a market for virtual goods, live entertainment, video production, P2P communication in voice and the ability to modify the environment so that people in such a world do not merely look at the environment, but also act on it.   This is the full meaning of the term interactive.  
          You can visit Second Life by going to the website and creating an account.  But if you do that, you will find that there is a lot to learn before you can do anything.  Here is a collection of web links with information about getting started in Second Life or similar virtual worlds.  
          There is a video on that page that will help you go into Second Life at least knowing how to move around and find out things.

          OpenSim, OpenSimulator

          These terms are used interchangeably.  OpenSimulator is a collection of open-source  software. that creates virtual worlds that are similar to the virtual worlds created by Second Life.  Open-source, however, means that the source code is available to the public and anyone is free to use it as is or modify it as they wish.  There are some restrictions on use, but basically anyone with enough technical expertise and/or patience can get their own copy and run it on their own machine.  Assuming they have a powerful machine, they can run multiple virtual worlds on their own machine.   


          People have used the OpenSimulator code to create grids open to the public.  A grid, in this case, is an interconnected collection of virtual worlds.  Some grids, such as Kitely, are commercial and charge for land and maintenance services they provide.  Other grids are maintained by individuals or groups for special purposes such as education, role playing, etc.   Interconnected means that avatars and the users behind them can generally move from one virtual world to another.  A specific virtual world is commonly called a sim, region, or world. This movement is called a teleport (TP) and is technically similar to loading one browser page in place of another.   


          The Hypergrid is a set of conventions that allow communication between grids running  OpenSim software.  The communication lets avatars and virtual objects move from one grid to another.  Many of the OpenSim grids are connected this way, so that people on the Hypergrid regularly visit multiple grids whenever they please.  From the user's standpoint, the collection of grids on the Hypergrid is much like one large grid.  

          Virtual Reality

          Virtual reality is a generic term that refers to various forms of computer simulated reality, including virtual worlds but also many other things. 



          News and Notes


            Tuesdays + Sundays

            • 1 - 3 am PST - 10:00 am CET - 9 am GMT
            • 8 - 10 am PST - 17:00 pm CET - 4 pm GMT
            • A weekly repeating event. At HG Welcome Center.
            • Everyone welcome, no matter which language. We got translators
            • Hypergrid address:
            • Put HG address in World Map next to Find. Click Find. TP.

            The Hypergrid WIP Show

            The Hypergrid WIP is a one hour "show & tell" of works in progress or recently completed. All builders from beginner to pro are invited.  Presentations are in voice and text.  For text presentations, best bring the text in a notecard and paste it into chat.  Voice presentations may be captured in video.  Stills and videos from the show may appear in this blog and elsewhere.

            Next WIP show 

            • Next WIP show: Sun. Feb 28, Noon SLT
            • Location: Cookie II
            • Narasnook  location
            • Put the line above in your World Map next to Find.  Click FindTP
            • At Narasnook, use World Map to search for Pandora
            • Cookie II location
            • HG address below: paste into the World Map next to Find. Click Find, TP
            • II 
            • in Kitely: paste into Nav (top) bar of Firestorm, Enter.
            • hop:// II/68/369/22

              Previous Articles from the WIP show 

              HG links-- depending on your interests 

              Metaverse beginner help

              • I publish about 6 days a week, skipping 1 or 2 days in midweek
              • For more on topics like this, circle Selby Evans in Google+ 
              • What do we do in Virtual Worlds? 
              • Search on page with Google Chrome: Ctrl+f, search bar upper right.
              • Google search this blog: Search bar, upper left--or:
              • Put at the end of the search terms 
              • What is Second Life?
              • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
              • All original content on this blog is Creative Commons License, attribution only. 
              • Second LifeLindenSLurl, and SL are trademarks of Linden Research Inc. 
              • This blog is not affiliated with Second Life or anything else. 
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