Category Archives: Second Life

A quick tour of Second Life

Soon, our new Swedish Institute interns will start keeping office hours at the Second House of Sweden. Some will be new to Second Life, so we thought it would be useful to make a list of cool must-see places to visit, as part of the training. Here they are:

Svarga, a classic Second Life fantasy, with really high build quality. Jump into the buggy for a guided tour, or fly around yourself.

Sculpted Earth, by Magnuz, a Swedish SL developer. Walk around a model of Earth with magnified height data. Walk into the globe for more.

3D Map of Sweden, also by Magnuz. Walk around it for different perspectives. Click the map to get a menu of options.

Sistine Chapel at Vassar College: At this university’s sim, find the recreation of the Sistine Chapel nearby.

David Rumsey Maps: The world’s largest map collection shown in 3D. Fly across the landscape and into the globes for more.

The International Spaceflight Museum is the only place anywhere where you can compare relative sizes of rockets. Also check out the Lunar Lander module, and the Science on a Sphere video.

Virtual Briefing Hub: Turn on video, click on some of the available buttons, and watch the map appear.

Second Sweden, the largest Swedish presence in Second Life. Run around Gamla Stan, or find the skyscraper of the Swedish state real-estate company HSB.

Kamimo Island, a collaborate e-learning experiment that includes Sweden’s university of Kalmar. Try the sandbox if you want to have a go at building something yourself. Don’t worry, you can’t do anything wrong:-)

Greenies! Buy a decoder ring (L$99) at the entrance with your Linden Dollars to access this sim. One of my favorite sims.

Lauk’s Nest, where you can enjoy the view or try some of the instruments. This works best when you have some friends with you.

Last, but not least, the Second House of Sweden. Welcome to Sweden’s official representation to Second Life. Check out the exhibitions, but don’t miss the Raoull Wallenberg immersive radio play at the back of the embassy.

These places are a subjective choice, of course; there are many more impressive Second Life destinations, and the above list is not meant to be a “best of”, but I do think it gives a good idea of what Second Life can be used for. If you have your own favorite places that you think are must-see, do add them in the comments.

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Scenes from a Virtu-Real party

The inauguration of the “Innovation & Technology” exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington DC went off without a hitch… And so did the installation “House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real”. I’ve added some more pictures to the Flickr set:

If you missed the inauguration, you can visit the installation yourself until March 16, either i Second Life or in Washington DC.

Below, the press release that was sent out earlier today:

House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real
By Studio Unreal + Team and the Swedish Institute
January 8 – March 16, 2008
House of Sweden, Washington DC — Second House of Sweden, Second Life.

Join us either in the real world or in the virtual world of Second Life to visit a brand-new installation that spans both places: A room that is partly at Second House of Sweden in Second Life, and partly in the real world, at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC.

The installation is part of an exhibition at the House of Sweden running from January 8 to March 16 that highlights Swedish technology and innovation. But if you are not in Washington DC, you too can visit — in fact, your presence in Second Life is crucial to making the installation “House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real” work.

What does the installation do?

  • In the real world: As you approach the installation, a projection on a glass wall allows the room to continue into Second Life, where you can see avatars in real time visiting the room in Second Life. Beside the screen there is a “pixel cave”, a booth with an old Ericsson phone and smaller screen that lets you see the virtual room from the side. Pick up the phone, and a virtual phone will ring in Second Life. Anyone visiting the room in Second Life can answer the phone (by clicking on it) and talking to you.
  • In Second Life: Visit the installation at Second House of Sweden, just behind the reception desk as you enter. Once there, turn on video to see a live view of the real-world exhibit along one wall. Remember, they can see you too! There is a big pink phone in the room. Touch it, and a real phone will ring at the exhibition. If somebody there picks up, you can have a conversation. Remember to have voice chat enabled.

The installation is conceived and created by Studio Unreal + Team, an architectural collective with roots in KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The installation is commissioned and funded by the Swedish Institute, a government agency involved in public Diplomacy.

Some photos of the installation and its construction in Washington DC:

More information about the installation at:
http://secondhouseofsweden.com/

More information about the real-world exhibition.
http://www.swedenabroad.com/Page____69190.aspx

Location of the Second House of Sweden:
You can visit Second House of Sweden from here:

To register for Second Life (free):
http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/Secondlife____16359.aspx

Opening hours:
In the real world, 12-6pm Wednesday to Friday, 12-4pm Saturday and Sunday (Washington DC time)
In Second Life: 24/7! (Tough when the exhibition is closed, there will be nobody to talk to in the real world.)

Saint Lucia 2007 in Second Life: December 13

Last December 13, Sweden’s Saint Lucia procession in Second Life was the first widely covered Swedish-themed event in Second Life, organized by Swedish Second Life resident Tina Dahl and a small band of friends. In the year since, Second Life has seen a veritable explosion into the public consciousness, and as a result far more Swedes are now involved in the virtual world — which means far more Swedes to partake in this year’s Saint Lucia ritual.

This December 13, then, expect a far more elaborate Saint Lucia procession, with contributions from many Swedes in Second Life. Below is the press release, or download this flyer (jpeg). If you want to read up on Saint Lucia before the day, here’s a great primer. This is one of the best rituals in Sweden’s annual calendar — and now you can attend one from absolutely anywhere. No more excuses!

luciaett.jpg

After last years huge succes of Lucia in Second Life – Lucia will visit us all again!

Every year the 13th of December, Santa (Saint) Lucia arrives to Sweden to announce the Christmas season. This year, again, she will be in Second Life.

The Lucia Celebration features traditional Swedish songs, with a woman, representing Saint Lucia, dressed in white robes, with a headdress of candles, a halo of light to repel the darkness.

LUCIA in Second Life – 13th of December Svenskt Resurscenter – sim (128 128 0)
Swedish time: 21.00-21.30 and 22.30 to late.
Second Life time: 12am (PST)-12.30am (PST) and 1.30 PM (PST) to late.

Do not miss the opportunity to attend this celebration of light and meet a real Swedish Lucia, complete with an entourage of singers, a Christmas tree, Santa (the real one!), Swedish freebie gifts, Swedish live music and disco. The entire amount of all sales/donation will go to Swedish Red Cross in Second Life. Donation boxs will be all over the sim.

Very welcome – all residents in Second Life,

Lucia 2007 by the People of Sweden.

PS: Who is the Lucia 2007 are a well protected secret untill the 13th of December.

For more info about the Lucia in Second Life 2006/2007 contact: Tina (PetGirl) Bergman in Second Life or by email.

Linné Lab? Carl Linden?

Here’s something I didn’t know before that is somehow relevant to Second Life geeks. From the Wikipedia article on Carl Linnaeus, aka Carl Linné:

When Linnaeus’ father went to the University of Lund, he coined himself a Latin surname: Linnaeus, referring to a large linden (lime) tree, the warden tree of the family property Linnagård (linn being an archaic form of Swedish lind, the linden). Nils Ingemarsson Linnaeus gave his son the name Carl. So the Swedish name of the boy was Carl Linnaeus.

In other words, had Linden Lab (the makers of Second Life) been founded in Sweden, they’d likely have been called Linné Lab; or conversely, Carl would have been called Carl Linden.

Invasão Sueca: Swedish music in Brazil… in Second Life (Sept 21)

Invasão Sueca (“Swedish Invasion”) brings Swedish pop music to Brazil, and now also to Second Life. This whole week, Swedish bands such as Love Is All, Hello Saferide, Maia Hirasawa and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names are playing in Recife, Porto Alegre and Sao Paolo — on September 21st, the performance is also being broadcast live via streaming video to the Second House of Sweden, Sweden’s virtual embassy in Second Life.

The concert starts at 23.00 Sao Paolo time (Sept 21), 22.00 New York time, (Sept 21), 19.00 Second Life time (Sept 21), 04:00 Stockholm time (Sept 22). On stage will be Suburban Kids With Biblical Names and Maia Hirasawa. See you at the Second House of Sweden on the Swedish Institute sim.

auditorium.jpg

About Invasão Sueca: Invasão Sueca is a project by the Swedish Institute and Export Music Sweden to promote Swedish music in Brazil. In 2006 Jens Lekman, El Perro Del Mar and Hell On Wheels toured Brazil, which resulted in front-page news on the culture pages of Sao Paolo’s largest daily papers. In June 2007 José Gonzales toured Brazil with Invasão Sueca.

About the live video broadcast in Second Life: As with everything we do in Second Life, we approach this project as a playful experiment. We will do live but informal testing on September 20th (same times, but 24 hours earlier, so do drop by Second House of Sweden then and help us stress test:-) What’s the technology involved? On stage, a video camera and microphones relay the concert to a computer connected to the internet, running Wirecast. Wirecast encodes the video and sends it to Qbrick in Sweden, which in turn broadcasts the video to all those who visit the auditorium at the Second House of Sweden.

[UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties — a bad internet connection in Brazil — we weren’t able to bring this live. Apologies all round, that is the way it is new technology:-)]

Umeå’s HUMlab ventures into Second Life

Another Swedish univertsity is venturing into Second Life. Umeå University’s HUMlab, “a vibrant and diverse meeting place for the humanities, culture and information technology”, has just bought part of a sim and is beginning to explore the space. The HUMlab Blog is documenting progress — you can read more about it here and here.

Estonia to ope virtual embassy in Second Life

Looks like Estonia will soon be joining Sweden in getting a virtual embassy on its own dedicated sim.