Category Archives: Virtual Environments/Virtual Worlds

Gaia Online Delivers an Epic New Eco-Adventure with Frontier Skies

Apparently the folks at Atomic PR have their eye on me, because they just sent me a copy of their latest press-release. I actually quite like getting press-releases, since certain companies have been quite… erratic about sending me their releases at all.

Anyway, this is from the Gaia Online folks who don’t take themselves too seriously, which I definitely feel is a beneficial trait.

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What’s mainstream?

If you ask someone if something can or can’t be considered ‘mainstream’, the usual response involves numbers. User numbers, audience numbers, profits. Stuff like that.

The thing is that the idea that large audiences = mainstream is essentially fallacious. You tend to get much larger audiences for mainstream things, but not always. Something that is mainstream can have very small numbers indeed. Then we say it has ‘niche appeal’. Quite a lot of things we think of as mainstream fall into that category.

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Lame searches: cheat codes to get your account unbanned

Something I rummage through periodically are the search results that people use to get to this site. A lot of people come here through the site appearing in amongst this or that search result. Some of them are obvious, some of them are weird.

A few are lurid, and then there’s one commonly recurring set that is particularly lame.

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Virtual Environment Sickness

Science! Virtual Environment Sickness (sometimes referred to as VES or as Simulation Sickness) was first officially researched by the United States Air Force back in the 1990s after the unexpected deaths of two experienced Air Force pilots.

It was determined to affect between 20 and 30% of the general population, and is more commonly experienced these days in assorted video games, though not usually with any deadly consequences.

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Deviancy and the balance of immersion

Immersion occupies an interesting and multifaceted place in our societies and cultures. It is a quality of focus and attention. It’s what your boss wishes you had more of when it comes to your tasks and meetings. It’s what your teachers wish you had more of when it comes to lessons and homework. It’s what your spouse wishes you had more of when it comes to the dishes, cooking and the laundry. It’s what your kids wish you had more of when they’re telling you about their day.

And when we wind up immersed in anything else – particularly if it is something personally enjoyable or fulfilling – it is considered deeply suspect and somehow wrong.

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Could Australia be barred from Second Life access?

Darn straight they could. Second Life could be on the hitlist, the more so because of the Zindra continent for adult content.

While Second Life clearly isn’t a game, I doubt that anyone involved in the process really cares about that trivial little detail. We’re all pretty sure this isn’t really about games anyway, right? After all, the current list also censors religion, political opinion, veterinarians, and school lunches.

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