Big in 2010 – 2 Farmville

The most popular web phenomenon of the year wasn't actually Twitter, it was Farmville. The Facebook powered virtual farm game has attracted over 60 million users – even more than Twitter. The big question revolves around whether Farmville is a…

Linden Lab announces Second Life in-world to out-world phone calls


Thats equal to 28,539 years. If we put those minutes end-on-end and launched them back into the mists of time, they’d reach the Pleistocene era – then they’d probably get eaten by a giant sloth, or Madonna – zing!

The success of VOIP in Second Life is marked by the fact 50% of Second Lifers, including educators, consumers and large enterprises use voice in their everyday in-world activity.

More interesting though, is the annoucment that Linden Labs, the white-coats behind the Second Life experience, are lauching a service called AVLine which allows people to make calls from a landline to a user in Second Life, and users to make calls out of Second Life to a landline – to a non-Second Life user.

“We’re launching a beta-testing programme today with the full service launching later this year,” said Linden Labs.

Does anyone else feel like the lines are starting to blur? Does anyone else feel pretty excited? Does that arouse anyone else? No? Just me then.

Second Life and World of Warcraft to be sued by CEO Thom Kidrin seems like a rather opportunistic chap. He has a patent on a “scalable virtual world client-server chat system” and a “system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space” that he claims any massively-multiplayer game is infringing.

His first target has been NCSoft, a Koreak publisher that’s responsible for the fantastic-but-aging City of Heroes, and the no-subscription-fee Guild Wars. If that litigation is successful, then Thom says he “absolutely” intends to follow up with lawsuits against Activision-Blizzard and Linden Lab, who run World of Warcraft and Second Life respectively.

Thom says he doesn’t want anyone to go out of business, he just wants to be paid for his intellectual property. It’s going to be difficult for him to prove this one, though, given that these patents were filed in 1996 and 2000, and that most virtual worlds can trace their roots back much further than that, to MUDs, MUCKs, MOOs and MUSHes that date from the 80s.

We’ll keep an eye on this story and report back any developments, because victory in court for Kidrin could see the fledgling virtual worlds industry being cut down in its infancy.

(via Silicon Alley Insider, WoW Insider and Massively)

Woman filing for divorce after husband caught "having it off with another man in a dungeon" in Second Life

The husband in question is John Best, 34, who, if you ever believe what the News of the World says, was using his laptop in bed – while his wife was asleep – to indulge in a bit of M2M action in Second Life.

He had a great excuse for doing it. He said “it wasn’t real life” which, to be fair, is 100% correct. Here’s the NotW’s superb visual representation of the story…


“I couldn’t sleep a wink the rest of the night wondering whether this meant he was betraying me or not – that he’d rather have gay sex on Second Life than…

Forthcoming Second Life movie will inevitably be awful


Variety is reporting that director Gore Verbinski is working on a film about virtual world Second Life. Universal Pictures will be releasing it, and it’ll be based on this article from the Wall St Journal in 2007.

I’m worried. Worried in the same way that I was worried when I saw Twister, and The Day After Tomorrow. Worried because Hollywood has a tradition of aggressively reinforcing stereotypes, mercilessly mocking what it sees as ‘geeks’, and bending the truth to fit what middle America wants to happen.