I’d like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, Mark Gibson (Snow) who created this lovely nametag for my avatar to proudly wear in-world! Avatar attachments were one of the new features that only just became available in the latest release of the Sansar software, and many people have been using it with a high degree of skill already, creating things such as sunglasses, hats, beards…. and nametags! I’ve even seen some clever avatars with their names perched over their heads, just like in Second Life!
Which brings me to my topic of expressing avatar user identity. During the first six months of the closed beta, we beta testers often complained to Linden lab that we needed a way to identify each other. It was seen as especially important at a time when avatar customization options were extremely few (just a few basic types to choose from). Picture a half-dozen identical brown-haired men in blue blazers, all asking each other who they are!! Linden Lab listened to our complaints, and replied that they wanted to avoid a situation where everybody’s name was stuck over their heads, as it would break immersion (a valid point).
LL’s solution to this, so far, has been to include a feature where (when you are in a VR headset with hand controllers), you can press the secondary index trigger on the hand controller and the name of the avatar you are staring at will appear superimposed on that character. It’s a start, a good start but only a start. There still is no solution for non-VR-headset users, other than using the Nearby feature in local chat to see who is around you. You have to pay attention to the visual and audio cues, and watch to see whose lips are moving! Being able to integrate user identity functions in an unobtrusive but unambiguous way is going to be one of the major challenges moving forward for Linden Lab, and for developers of many other social virtual worlds.
Today I was part of a team of people who went into one of the most exciting new experiences in Sansar, the NASA Apollo Museum and Moonscape. The purpose of this visit was to allow Draxtor Despres to film a promotional video for Sansar. This new virtual exhibit hall, which was created by a company named LOOT Interactive, was first presented at The Art Of VR event at Sotheby’s in New York in June. It is now open to the public via Sansar.
At the entrance, visitors can watch a full-length movie outlining the U.S. space race to the Moon, trace the path of the Apollo 11 astronauts, and explore lifesize models of the Saturn V rocket, Command Module and the Lunar Module. You can even teleport to the surface of the Moon!
The Apollo Moon Museum is Sansar Newsblog’s Pick of the Day, please drop by for a visit. You can easily find it in the Sansar Atlas, it’s listed right near the top, or you can just use this URL to get there directly: https://atlas.sansar.com/experiences/lootinteractive/nasa-apollo-museum
Well, the day we have been waiting for has arrived. Linden Lab has opened the gates to the general public to come in and take a look at its virtual-reality-capable social world, Sansar. Here is the official news release. Second Life’s own Draxtor Despres is currently doing a live broadcast from his experience, 114 Harvest. And as you can see, people are (literally) piling in! (Note: Drax’s livestream has ended but here is the video, the fun starts about the 43-minute mark if you want to jump in there! I make an appearance at the 1 hour 10 minute mark in the video, loudly exclaiming: “Jesus Christ, Drax! Did you invite everybody and their dog?!??”)
You can now go to sansar.com and register your avatar name, download the Sansar client software, and set up your default avatar (male or female, with a variety of hairstyle and clothing styles to get you started). The Sansar Store is up and running, and among the multitude of virtual items available for sale today are even more clothing options created by Sansar Studios!
Second Life celebrity Strawberry Singh is already on the ball with a detailed post about Sansar here. Lots of links with information!
Will post more later…. but you are welcome to come visit Ryan’s Garden at the following URL: https://atlas.sansar.com/experiences/ryanschultz/ryan-s-garden (you’ll need to have a Sansar user account and the Sansar client installed). See if you can find the carousel!
Once I have permission from Linden Lab to talk about the Sansar project publicly, then I will be posting news and pictures from this brand-new virtual world.