MUVE Viewer 2: Phoenix Firestorm

Who it is developed by

Firestorm is a Second Life viewer that is developed and maintained by The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc. and it was first made available in 2010. The organization is entirely not-for-profit and was founded by Jessica Lyons [source].

The software is regularly updated, and Phoenix now has over 80 volunteers working on the project [source], many of whom are developers.

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MUVE Viewer 1: Imprudence

Who it is developed by

Imprudence is an open-source OpenSIM viewer that was first made available in 2008. It is developed entirely by volunteers.

The software is regularly maintained and updated, and the development staff hold a weekly in-world ‘meetup’ where users can discuss development ideas with the team [source]. Transcripts of all the meetings can be viewed at the source link as well.

What functionality it provides

Imprudence is a very slightly scaled-down viewer, primarily used for Second Life, but I was also unaware when I first used Imprudence that it could also be used for other OpenSIM based platforms, such as Kitely.

According to the Second Life Wiki [link], Imprudence lacks several features of the Second Life viewer, including Mesh Object Rendering, multiple attachments, and support for managing large groups, which means that your Second Life experience may be less than ideal.

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MUVE Platform 2: Second Life

Who it is developed by

Released in June 2003, Second Life was developed by Linden Lab. The road to the launch started in 1999 when Philip Rosen pioneered the concept of computer hardware known as The Rig. This allowed people (residents) aged 16+ to participate ‘virtually’ in a three-dimensional online environment known as Second Life using their avatar. Avatar forms can be either created by the user, or bought pre-made. Now this multiplayer online platform entertains millions around the globe with an expansive online community, a unique virtual currency and a robust marketplace.

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MUVE Platform 1: Kitely

Who it is developed by

Kitely is an Israeli based commercial provider of OpenSim regions. The public beta version was launched in 2011 and they now have hosting in more than 3,000 regions (as of January 2013). Kitely claim they are now “the leading provider of affordable high-performance OpenSim hosting solutions”, despite the fact that Second life has been established for over ten years so has many more community members.

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MUVE Location 2: Who Killed Humpty Dumpty?

In stark contrast to the first location I chose (MeltingDots) the second location I visited could not have been more loud or ostentatious. I was greeted by Marilyn Manson music blaring, the strangest looking avatars imaginable, and surroundings that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Steven King novel.

I’m not sure what else I could have expected from a place called ‘Death Row Island’ but rest assured I was unaware of the name of the island before I visited.

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Death Row Island

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MUVE Location 1: MeltingDots

The first location I chose is a place called MeltingDots, which is a place built specifically to provide support for new and struggling Japanese users of Second Life.

SLurl: secondlife://MELTINGDOTS/117/52/26

Why I chose it:

I found this location by using the Second Life Destination Guide (http://secondlife.com/destinations) and then selecting the ‘International’ category. I had hoped to find a place like this because I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to make use of my Japanese skills and perhaps gain some insight on how Second Life is used over there.

I know from my own personal experience of spending time with Japanese people that Second Life has achieved a huge amount of success in Japan and in other parts of Asia. I was unable to find statistics more recent than 2007 (link) but these statistics show that 8% of Second Life residents are Japanese.

How it looks:

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MeltingDots

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