Tag Archives: jokaydiagrid

Hypergriding Between Virtual Worlds

The Hypergrid Adventurers Club arriving at their first destination

What’s more fun than discovering a new virtual grid to explore?  How about jumping from new grid to new grid to new grid – carrying your avatar and your inventory with you as you go?

Such was the case last night at John Lester’s (@Pathfinder) first meeting of the Hypergrid Adventurers Club.  A hearty group of roughly 20 avatars gathered Sunday evening at Pathfinder’s new home on JokaydiaGRID.  We sat around the circle, introducing ourselves and sharing insights/questions about this brave new world we’re all entering.  Talk turned technical pretty quickly .  Though much of it was over my head, I enjoyed marinating in the general atmosphere of a group of smart, energetic, and open-minded folk ready for whatever the next iteration, the next dimension, the next adventure might bring.

John gave us each a notecard with instructions and the addresses (which look a bit like urls) for three different grids.  We discussed the basics and we were off.

World Map in Imprudence viewer

You open your world map, type (or paste) the address in the search field, locate it on the map and press the “teleport” button.  Whoosh. We traveled easily and safely to the three new worlds, the last of which – Aqualand – was the most stunning.  Here are some amazing pictures taken by Chimera Cosmos (@LDinSTL) that capture the feel of it. John Lester’s blog, Be Cunning and Full of Tricks, describes our adventure and provides the local-chat transcript from our session.

So what does this mean exactly?  First, a bit of background, for those unfamiliar with the concept.  OpenSimulator (often referred to as “OpenSim”) is an open source server platform for hosting virtual worlds.  So anyone with a server and a bit of elbow grease can run their own virtual world, right there in their own living room.  The virtual worlds that OpenSim simulates look a bit like Second Life – only rougher, less built up and refined.  And of course, less populated.  You access these OpenSim worlds through any number of specially designed “viewers” – in this case, we used Imprudence.

OpenSimulator can operate either in “standalone mode” or in “grid mode”.  In standalone mode, a single process handles the entire simulation – this works fine for a small number of users. In grid mode, various aspects of the simulation are separated among multiple processes, which can run on different machines (better when you expect to have a growing number of users).

And here’s the really exciting part (that we took advantage of last night) –  OpenSim uses an architecture known as “Hypergrid“, which allows avatars to teleport between different OpenSim-based virtual worlds, no matter where they are housed.  Think of it like hyperlinking between web pages, but in this case, you are hyperlinking between worlds, each one run by others.

Hypergrid Adventurers arrival point

The analogy I’ve been using to sort it out myself is that it’s like a school (bear with me, this isn’t perfect…). Up until now, we’ve had the fairly standard option, once you’re in the “school” (Second Life, Reaction Grid, Teleplace, SpotON3D), to easily wander (teleport) from classroom to classroom and visit other students working in those classrooms on the same campus.  But with this, you can just as easily wander (teleport) from school to school, visiting “students” in other countries, working in a way completely different to you.  In other words, it just got a bit more complicated….and infinitely more interesting.

And what is the significance of this?  This opens up the possiblity that individuals or businesses could have their own virtual worlds (running on their own servers) and still interact with customers, clients, or colleagues in other virtual worlds.  That means security/protecting your intellectual property without cutting yourself off from community and networking.  It also means movement away from centralized services to a decentralized (democractic?) model where avatars and ideas can flow freely.

It’s a brave new world out there.  Thanks, Pathfinder, for helping us navigate the, er, path.

Late add:  Just found this hypergriding glossary that might be useful.

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Another Day, Another Grid

Landing on Jokaydiagrid

I finally did it.  I finally ventured off my oh-so comfortable roost in the virtual world of Second Life and jumped into a new virtual world, courtesy of the newly established Jokaydia Grid (the Open sim run by the tirelessly creative Jo Kay, from Wollongong, Australia).

For those of you not familiar with the concept.  OpenSimulator (often referred to as “OpenSim”) is an open source server platform for hosting virutal worlds.  So anyone with a server and a bit of elbow grease can run their own virtual world, right there in their own living room.  The virtual worlds that OpenSim simulates look quite a bit like Second Life – only rougher – sort of like the wild west.

OpenSimulator can operate either in “standalone mode” or in “grid mode”.  In standalone mode, a single process handles the entire simluation – this works fine for a small number of users. In grid mode, various aspects of the simuluaton are separated among mulitple processes, which can run on different machines  (better when you expect to have a growing number of users).  OpenSim uses the Second Life protocol for client to server exchanges but the user interface looks a bit different.

In a really exciting twist, OpenSim uses an architecture known as “Hypergrid”, which allows avatars to teleport between different OpenSim-based virtual worlds, no matter where they are housed (like hyperlinking, but between worlds – cool!).

I didn’t make this journey alone!  My dear friend and colleague, Chimera Cosmos (RL= Liz Dorland) took me by the hand and walked me through it.

Here’s what was involved:

1.  Download the Imprudence viewer (this is a very friendly, open source version of the Second Life viewer)

2.  Sign up for a free Jokaydia Grid account.

3.  Open Imprudence, hit the “grid manager” button and input the following information:

The Imprudence Grid Manager

Grid Name:  Jokaydiagrid

LOGIN URI:  http://jokaydia.metaverseworlds.com:8002/

Hit “Get Grid Information” and the blanks will fill in.

Click apply.

And now, Log in with your avatar name and passcode, making sure that you’ve selected the Jokaydiagrid from the pull down menu listing of grids.  And – poof! – you’re there.

Here is Spiral Theas (my avatar’s name in SL) making her first appearance on Jokaydiagrid:

My new avatar...she needs some work, but hey.

Once there, Chimera showed me around.  Per usual with anything that Jokay builds, the place is chock-full of helpful support – a new avatar dome, lots of signs, posters, and instructions.  We located our little patches of land (since we are already Jokay-tenants in Second Life, our current SL rental includes a small patch on this new grid) and then did a fly over to see what else was there.  As you can see the map looks a bit different on Jokaydiagrid:

Map of a portion of Jokaydiagrid

As we flew, Chimera located John Lesters’ (aka Pathfinder Linden’s) island (she knew it by his telltale “be cunning and full of tricks” rabbit (see his fabulous blog by the same name) which is emblazoned on the sail of a viking-like looking ship near his island.  We landed to have a look around and were warmly greeted by John Lester himself who just stopped by to put up a few pictures.  He had been hypergriding with a touring group from Sweden and wanted to post a few snaps taken during the occassion. He was completely gracious and welcomed us to his corner of Jokaydiagrid.

Chimera Cosmos, Spiral Theas, and John Lester

So why all of this moving around and migration to other, new grids?  Recently, the creators of Second Life, Linden Lab, announced an end to discounts (50% reduction in rental fees for private regions) for eduators and non-profits in SL . There has been a loud outcry from the education community – everyone was rightly concerned and worried about their ability to sustain the presence they currently have. But inaddition to all of that angst, there’s been a whole lot of creative exploring going on.  I love all the blog posts, tweets, and buzz I’ve been hearing about OpenSim, Cobalt, ReactionGrid, SpotON3D, and other virtual worlds.

My wee venture today into OpenSim reminded me of stories I’ve read about the pioneers, heading out to the western territories.  Sure, it’s a little rough out there (it is, afterall, a new platform), things are buggy, and there’s not a lot to see (yet), but I am pretty confident that that will change.  As creative educators and non-profit folks test their wings and migrate to new virtual worlds, we’ll all quickly see that the skills, intuition, creativity, and chutzpah that we’ve acquired during our time in Second Life translates very well indeed. Onward!

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