Monday, November 1, 2010

Brave New World – HyperGrid…

Recently I posted about the Sim-on-a-stick.  At the time I was able to get the server running on my laptop and access my own sim.  But I couldn’t manage to invite any friends.  Later that day I tried to do the same from my Win 7 desktop.  Sadly it didn’t work.  (Probably a 64-bit issue)  In the process I loaded the Apache server, MySQL and PHP5 on my desktop…  it still didn’t work.  Eventually I became distracted by my Dreamweaver project.  After posting about the Sim-on-a-stick and talking about it to a few folks I didn’t think much of it.  Obviously if I was thinking about it others were as well, others with far better technical skills than I.  Today I learned Oberon Onmura set it up successfully and at the invitation of my friend and fellow metaverse explorer Jo Ellsmere, I was able to log into an independent OpenSim running on Oberon Onmura’s “older & not so fast” desk top (running Vista and a single Gig of memory!)….

Some may wonder… what is the big deal?  OpenSim right?  Yes… sort of… more like OpenGrid… or as several have labeled it… Hypergrid.   A completely decentralized Grid – You want one Region of your own to control completely?  Go ahead install it. Run it & invite your friends.

Like so many advances, it raises more questions than it answers.  What of inventory?  As it stands today… you Create it … you move it around the Hypergrid.  Will it stay that way?   How will creative freedom and copyright be impacted?  What of “the Boys at the Lab” as sororNishi calls them?  If the Hypergrid is so completely decentralized, what value do they still bring to the table – scale – community - history?  What type of economy will develop… will there be common currency?   Or will I have to make my own hair?  Will the technologically savvy rule the roost?   And just what is that ‘roost’?   How will being connected to ONLY those you want to connect to change things?  Will the serendipity of community be destroyed?  Perhaps it is as Dusan wrote recently… perhaps the lab created (unintentionally) a critical mass of emotional bandwidth allowing us the experience of Place.  How will Placeness be impacted by a hyper-decentralized-grid, it remains to be seen?  Clearly we are entering new space that will likely create a new Place. At this point (particularly for the Artists I know) it is the ultimate Sandbox… in more ways than one.  

Stay Tuned… More to come… 


  1. I can't help thinking that eventually I will be able to buy a stick with 8 regions on it which I can invite friends to drop into...or from which I can tp off to a shopping grid, buy some stuff with Paypal and tp back to my home regions with all my goodies before popping off to a concert somewhere later that evening....

    I think a future like this will see the big grids just fade unless they can corner a concerts (ablilty to allow several hundred avis to congregate)..or shopping (take your goods to whichever grid you like)...etc.

    I think we have started to be independent of SL and this process will continue.

  2. Rob --

    There are several hypergrid-enabled payment options -- the top three are PayPal, OMC and G$.

    More info here:

    Pathfinder has been doing some nice work with making hypergrid clear and easy for people, with his Hypergrid Travelers Club.

    And yes, you can buy stuff on one grid and bring it home to your own. You don't have to make hair from scratch -- there dozens, maybe hundreds, of freebie stores already out there on the hypergrid.

    -- Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business

    P.S. There will always be a place for large grids like Second Life. Look at the Web -- we've got millions of small Websites, but we also have Facebook and Yahoo and Twitter. And people visit all kinds of sites during the course of a day.

  3. I agree Soror... perhaps large grids will be aggregation points (or the virtual world equivalent of a IP Hosting service). With this Hypergrid capability I see fewer reasons why I would buy a private island in SL. Although, one thing you may get with a company (vs running your own grid) is the 24/7 up time (unless you built a server you were willing to leave up and running). In the very least the economic model dramatically changes for SL (assuming this takes off – Oberon was saying that Imprudence folks were working on a turn-key single download solution, a kin to installing a viewer).

    The sociologist/economist in me is more than a little fascinated to see how this will work. It certainly can be seen as a virtual communal/anarchic experiment (Communal-anarchy if defined as – decentralized voluntary association that chooses to value community) - can it sustain itself? Not to mention it is just plain fun and exciting to participate in.

    Thanks Maria... I've only recently picked up on the work Pathfinder has done. Most interesting.... I'll be exploring this much more this winter. And I think all will be happier if I can just buy hair... lol. Thank you both for your input.