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Jul 27

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Wii for Second Life

The video above shows a man using a Wii controller to control Second Life. He's using it with a treadmill. Most systems like this cost several thousand dollars, but with a Wii (multi-use) and a Second Life account you can have one in your home. Id-media, a creative agency, produced this video and are the sponsors of the Open Source project WiiController4SecondLife. This type of thing wouldn't be possible if Linden labs hadn't open sourced the Second Life client code (nor would this nifty looking AJAX SL client for that matter).

As I was writing this I noticed that Wired has an article up focusing on MIT researcher David E. Stone's work with the Wii and Second Life. He is looking to use the combination for corporate training. Om's new blog Earth2Tech also has a recent piece on experimental uses of SL (none involving the Wii).

The anti-hype for Second Life has been getting deafening (see Darren Barefoot's Get A First Life), but there are cool things being done in the virtual world (like ant simulations and NOAA's weather visualizations). Anyone can get a free account and building objects is relaitvely simple (and once you've built the object in Sl you can now "export" them to the real world via 3D printing). Where Second Life may end up providing the greatest value is by being an easily shareable 3D experimentation platform, not the social world usually envisioned.

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Joseph said:

If Linden hadn't blown so much VC money on PR building their hype wave, they wouldn't be facing so much anti-hype now.

geekr said:

Wired has a nice article discussing the possibilities: Wii + Second Life = New Training Simulator. Imagine the setup with a nice 3D display and you have a full low cost VR simulator environment:

Deepak said:

To me Second Life (virtual worlds in general) has always been less about the business and marketing end which gets so much hype, and more about the potential as an immersive environment for simulations, education, etc. Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel has been experimenting with Second Life as a medium for teaching scientific concepts, organic chemistry in particular. Drexel Island should be a must stop for those who want to see alternate uses of the platform.

Now all they have to do is add in some explosions or something cool and maybe someone might actually buy that.


zeb said:

After the release of PlayStation Home (a great virtual world for the PlayStation 3), Linden labs felt it necessary to have SL controlled with Wii controller. I wonder if it makes any difference because there is nothing much a controller can do that we can't with mouse or keyboard.

Hisky said:

Great. I just bought me a Wii and i like the gameplay with the remote controle.

If you can use SL and Wii we move one more step to a second "real" life in the net. My Wii is already connected to my Wlan router....first step is done ;)

Olli said:

Nice Idea! I´ve also a wii and the gameplay with the wii remote and the nunchuck is fantastic. I think Second Life is the perfect game for this control.

Chris Wong said:

The Second Life bit is just because it's nothing really groundbreaking - it's the same thing that has been available for years now, but with better marketing. I don't have strong views about Second Life, I'm just not that interested in it.

The Wii, though, opens a whole new dimension of functionality. What is there after text, images, audio, video...? There's kinesthetic. The Wii engages our body in weblike interactions. Combined with wireless, combined with GPS, this could be very interesting.

One simple silly application... urban golf. You have a controller with a small view-screen. The point of the viewscreen is to show you the 'ball'. You swing your device like a golf club. The Wii gyros pick up the motion and convert it to an action on the golf ball. Your viewscreen then shows you a map to find where your ball 'landed'.

Sure, maybe that's a bad idea, but we haven't been able to do anything like that before.

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