ReLaM: Relocatable Laboratories in the Metaverse - The Kira Institute
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ReLaM: Relocatable Laboratories in the Metaverse
Wednesday 2009.11.18 9am SLT
"StreamJam: A virtual event platform on Facebook"

Chris Carella (Satchmo Prototype, SL)
Chief Creative Officer
The Electric Sheep Company

The Electric Sheep Company's latest application, StreamJam, has entered alpha. Chris will discuss StreamJam, a virtual event platform on Facebook. StreamJam's initial focus is on live music, something that has been described as SL's "killer app". Chris will discuss the project vision, the alpha test and hold an open discussion about virtual concerts.

Piet Hut, Stephanie Smith, Rob Knop, George Djorgovski, Adam Johnson.

Venue: Kira Dome (just north of the Kira Cafe)

ReLaM was a very successful workshop that ran between February and November 2009. It was mostly weekly and only ran as monthly in the Fall. The Kira Dome was built specially to house ReLaM meetings because attendances became too large for the Kira Cafe.

ReLaM was offered jointly by the Kira Institute and the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics ( This workshop was a talk forum to learn about leading edge projects taking place in virtual worlds and provides an opportunity to hear about projects and research, ask questions and engage in a dialog with the project innovator.

ReLaM was also a nexus for the speaker community to meet and network with each other. The ReLaM network is a focal point for virtual world leaders to share their experiences and collaborate with each other. The technologies showcased at ReLaM highlight the depth and breadth of the ground breaking work taking place in the virtual world community.

ReLaM's original focus was on interoperable scientific labs and now encompasses many forms of interoperability, new technologies and best practices in virtual worlds. ReLaM later expanded its focus to include the work of many disciplines that are contributing vital "laboratories" of work within the metaverse. It has grown over time into a community that reaches across disciplines to establish a shared knowledge among scholars seeking to understand different types of emerging technologies associated with:

  • conducting science research in virtual worlds;
  • operating among virtual worlds;
  • best practices in virtual worlds.

ReLaM talks were held in Second Life with the speaker giving remarks in voice for about 15 minutes followed by a 30 minute period for questions and discussion in text and voice. ReLaM's broad reach across a range of disciplines and interests creates a space to include developers throughout the virtual world community. If you are interested in being a ReLaM speaker, please contact one of the organizers. As a leader in virtual worlds, we would be glad to hear remarks on your current interests in virtual worlds, leading virtual technologies or promising research.

ReLam in the Kira Dome

Scheduled Speakers

2009.11.18 "StreamJam: A virtual event platform on Facebook"

Speaker: Chris Carella (Satchmo Prototype, SL Name) , Chief Creative Officer, The Electric Sheep Company.

The Electric Sheep Company's latest application, StreamJam, has entered alpha. Chris will discuss StreamJam, a virtual event platform on Facebook. StreamJam's initial focus is on live music, something that has been described as SL's "killer app". Chris will discuss the project vision, the alpha test and hold an open discussion about virtual concerts.

2009.10.21 "Testing the Celentano Curve: An Empirical Survey of Predictions for Human Spacecraft Pressurized Volume"

Speaker: Marc Cohen (SL name: Mendel Quixote), Human System Integration Lead, Civil Space, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

In 1963, Celentano, Amorelli, and Freeman of North American Aviation described a set of curves as an Index of Habitability that can predict the amount of pressurized volume necessary per crewmember to conduct a space mission at tolerable, performance, or optimal levels.  Marc will speak about one of his papers that presents an analysis of the Celentano Curve that depicts a relationship between spacecraft pressurized volume and the duration of a space mission.

Since Yuri Gagarin flew in Vostok 1 in 1961, the US, Russia, and China have launched more than 250 human spaceflights.  Marc's survey collects the empirical flight data and tests the Celentano curves against it.  The statistical approach treats the Celentano curve as the hypothesis stating a causal relationship between mission duration and volume.  Many authors have published variations of the Celentano curve, and Marc considers nine interpretations, plus three versions of the crew size hypothesis and one functional operations hypothesis.

Marc's analysis shows that pressurized volume increases as a function of mission duration, both as a power curve and a logarithmic curve.  This volume trend does not level off but continues to rise throughout the historic envelope of human spaceflight.

2009.09.16 "Reflections on the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Second Life"

Speaker: Adrienne Gauthier, M.Ed. (Ourania Fizgig, SL) , Instructional Technologist/Designer.

'Astronomy 2009' island is the official presence of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Second Life under the auspices of the New Media Task Group. Adrienne Gauthier, the island's project manager and designer, will reflect on her experience of seeing the island go from a small unfunded idea in September 2007 through being featured on the Second Life viewer login page during August 2009. Evaluation plans and the future of Astronomy 2009 past the end of the year will also be discussed.

2009.07.22 to 2009.09.09  - Summer break

2009.07.15 "Education & Training in 3D Worlds: Our Trials & Tribulations"

Speaker: John Walber (SL name: Wilbur Wood), Executive Producer of LearningTimes, Chief Executive Officer of LearningTimes, LLC. John has a diverse background in high-tech management and operations. is an open community for education and training professionals. Members have free access to a wide range of opportunities to interact and network with peers from across the globe. Member activities include live webcasts and interviews with industry leaders, online debates and discussions, live coverage of industry conferences, and international working groups.

2009.07.08 "Immersive Education and the Education Grid"

Speaker: Aaron Walsh, Founding Director, Grid Institute.

The Immersive Education Initiative is an merit-based, non-profit international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual worlds, simulators and game-based learning and training systems.

The Media Grid is a computational grid platform that provides digital media delivery, storage and processing (compute) services for a new generation of networked applications. Built using Internet and Web standards, the Media Grid combines Quality of Service (QoS) and broadcast features with distributed parallel processing capabilities. Together these features create a unique software development platform designed specifically for networked applications that produce and consume massive quantities of digital media. The Media Grid is powered by service providers (such as rendering farms, clusters, high-performance computer systems, computational grids, and similar systems) that furnish on-demand services to Media Grid clients (users).

2009.07.01 "3D Web open standards for the Metaverse"

Speaker: Damon Hernandez (SL name: MetaverseOne Inventor), Mixed Reality Builder.

The growth of virtual worlds, mirror worlds, and rich web3D applications have brought mass awareness that web2.0 has already begun its evolution into the 3D web. As more entities migrate to the web of the new millennium with real world needs, the necessity to work with standards and robust systems are the only viable options. This talk will cover web3D applications, the 3D web's convergence with other Metaverse technologies, and touch on the web3d open standard X3D.

Extensible 3D (X3D), the existing ISO open standard for real-time 3D graphics, is the HTML of the 3D web. Its predecessor VRML '97, is still widely supported today by a number of DCC tools and applications. With applications in virtual worlds, mirror worlds, and augmented reality, X3D is a defining standard for the emerging mixed reality Metaverse.

2009.06.24 "Datascapes and Semantic Virtual Worlds"

Speaker: David Burden (SL name: Corro Moseley) is CEO of Daden.

Daden have developed a number of virtual world - real world integrations over the last few years, and this work has recently culminated in the production of Datascape - an environment within SL that embeds over a dozen information visualisation and access systems. Displaying geographic, statistical, science and real-time data, the space incorporates the complete Google Maps and Open StreetMap mapping systems.

This emphasis on bringing data into a virtual world is carried over into Daden's work on training systems, and the Open Source PIVOTE training authoring system - where a training exercise is defined in terms of structure and (non-3D) content, but is then playable in multiple virtual worlds, the web and even an iPhone.

Coming out of this has been the concept of semantic virtual worlds - where the virtual world engine operates primarily in terms of semantic content (eg chair, table) rather than visualisation technology - enabling the user to render the virtual world on whatever technology they are using (thick client, Flash, 2D web, mobile phone, even text (especially for visually impaired users).

David will talk about the development of their ideas of semantic virtual worlds, and how this has been informed by their work on Datascape and PIVOTE. After the talk there will be the opportunity to join David on Daden Prime for a demonstration of Datascape.

2009.06.17 "Teaching and Employing Computer Technology In the Virtual World"

Speaker: Phil Youngblood (SL name: Vic Michalak), Department Head, Computer Information Systems, University of the Incarnate Word

Visualizing computer technology concepts can be difficult because it is not "hands-on" material. At least with programming or even computer security you can manipulate the code or configuration and see what effect it has on the results or system. This is not so readily done with the inner workings of a computer. How might the metaverse be used to convey to students more than a static description or illustration as might be found in a textbook or PowerPoint presentation or even an animation in a YouTube video when the reality is more like the 3D traffic scenes in Bladerunner or the Star Wars films?

"Computer Technology" island is an approved addition to SciLands that will exploit the advantages of virtual worlds by representing difficult-to-visualize computer technology concepts in a scientific laboratory in which participants can immerse themselves in the ongoing inner workings of a computer at various levels of interest and expertise ranging from passive observation to actively taking control of the activities of various computer components - with immediate feedback (envision an assembly line gone wrong).

In this presentation Phil Youngblood will describe how our international coalition of professors and students will use an interdisciplinary and multi-generational approach to convert this idea to design and then to reality by applying "best practices" in virtual world education and "lessons learned" from experience teaching three international computer technology courses in Second Life over the last two years. He will also touch on technical, human networking, and legal issues that may factor into our endeavor.

2009.06.10 "Virtual Worlds and the Rise of the Goverati"

Speaker: Eric Hackathorn (SL name: Hackshaven Harford), program manager NOAA.

What is the goverati?  Mark Drapeau defines it as made up of people with first-hand knowledge of how the government operates, who understand how to use social software to accomplish a variety of government missions, and who want to use that knowledge for the benefit of all.  This talk will focus on the advantages of using virtual worlds to foster "Government 2.0."

Today our society faces numerous challenges from the economy to the climate.  As a democratic society we must engage the general public and crowd source the solutions.  That said, we have a long way to go and the goverati cannot do it alone. Do you want to be part of the solution? Moreover, how can your government enable you to execute on your ideas?

2009.06.03 "Two Years in Genome:  Reflections on Teaching in Second Life"

Speaker: Mary Anne Clark (SL name: Max Chatnoir), Professor of Biology, Texas Wesleyan University

Genome Island was constructed as a virtual laboratory for teaching principles of genetics to university undergraduates.  After two years of using the island for demonstrations, field trips and full immersion classes, Mary Anne Clark is still discovering the pleasures and perils of teaching science in Second Life, and will share a few experiences, insights, and cautionary tales.  The slurl for Genome Island is .

2009.05.27 "The Metaverse as a Transmedia Touch Point"

Speakers: John Anthony Hartman (SL name: Thought Plasma), President Feedia (;, and Rod Pitman (SL name: Ekam Hawker), Co-Founder Alpha Geek TV (

Fundamental changes have taken place in the way people consume media. Traditional major media platforms like print, TV and radio have evolved to what has been referred to as nonlinear, multi-platform viewing also called Transmedia.  Transmedia storytelling represents a shift in the way we think about our relationship to media.  We are making this shift first through pop culture.  With the interactive skills we have now acquired, there are implications for how we learn, work, participate in the political process and interact with others throughout the world.

2009.05.20 "Second Life as a Media Platform"

Speaker: Pooky Amsterdam (SL name); PookyMedia (; "The 2nd QuestioN!", now called the 1st Question.

Using the Second Life platform for media includes: 1) Creating and producing original video and live content that is live online viewer entertainment with audience participation, a concept Pooky pioneered in 2003-2008 on Habbo Hotel UK; 2) Using Second Life for branded content such as series, shorts and commercial films which establish a "Shared Experience" between brand and audience; 3) Using Second Life to build a community around a brand by offering tailored events befitting the product or service, thereby building audience, traffic and attention. With the use of machinima (cinema created on machine) PookyMedia is producing high quality video.  This is the Golden Age of the Internet, and PookyMedia is on the forefront of entertainment.

2009.05.13 "The Hypergrid: An Architecture for a New Web"

Speaker: Crista Lopes (SL: Diva Canto), Associate Professor UC Irvine; Core Developer, OpenSim; Co-Founder, Metaverse Ink; Co-Founder, Encitra.

OpenSim is chartering territory in making Virtual Worlds interoperable with each other and with the Web.  At the heart of it there is the Hypergrid, an emerging architecture that allows the seamless transfer of users' agents between grids operated by different entities. While the Hypergrid is coming to life in the context of OpenSim-based 3D Virtual Worlds, its foundations shed a new light into what the Web could be.

2009.05.06 "How important will immersive 3D be to the Internet's future?"

Speaker: Wagner James Au (SL: Hamlet Au), leading SL blogger ( and author of "The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World"

Second Life and OpenSim are 3D, highly immersive virtual worlds, but are they really where the future of the greater Internet is heading?  If so, why, and how?

2009.04.29 "SL is Already Fairly Interoperable"

Speaker: Troy McConaghy (SL: Troy McLuhan), co-founder of the SciLands and manager of the Science Center group in SL.

Interoperability of virtual worlds isn't some distant future goal. Troy will note several ways that Second Life is already interoperable with other systems and services on the Internet.

2009.04.22 "The Virtual Observatory concept: an example of a web-based virtual scientific organization"

Speaker: Prof. George Djorgovski (SL: Curious George), Caltech; Director, MICA

The Virtual Observatory (VO) concept originated as a response of the astronomical community to the exponential growth of data, and the corresponding scientific opportunities, enabled by the growth of informational technology.  The VO was supposed to be a complete, distributed, web-based research environment for astronomy with massive and complex data sets (including numerical simulations). Since its origins about 9 years ago, it became a world-wide structure with a broad agency support, but still with a relatively slow community buy-in.  We'll summarize the history of the VO movement so far, and some lessons learned which may be of interest to scientific communities in virtual worlds.

2009.04.15 "Thinking outside of the 3D box" 

Speaker: Tish Shute (SL: Tara5 Oh), leading IT blogger (

'Transporting relocatable laboratories to other worlds' means thinking about more than moving 3D inventory and scripts around.  Perhaps it is more important to think of a relocatable laboratory like Batman -- a creation that is representation-agnostic and not necessarily in 3D. What is essential to a relocatable laboratory?  And how is this 'essentialness' relocatable, and location based?

2009.04.08 "The NMC Campus Project"

Speaker: Larry Pixel is Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO, The New Media Consortium

The New Media Consortium (NMC), a non-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations founded in 1993, has nearly 300 members, including most of the top colleges and universities in the world, museums, research centers, foundations, and other forward-thinking organizations.  Since 2006 the NMC has used Second Life as another medium to achieve their mission - to encourage the use of emerging technologies in support of teaching, learning, research, and creative expression -- with remarkable results.  By helping more than 175 colleges and universities learn to make broad use of virtual spaces, including institutions like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, USC, Rice, and many others, the NMC has built the largest educational project in any virtual world.  The NMC's not-for-profit project has recovered all its costs through virtual world operations and became completely self-sustaining in early 2007.

2009.04.01 "Virtual Worlds, the Origins and Evolution of a New Medium"

Speaker: Digi Weaver is Bruce Damer

Virtual worlds pioneer Bruce Damer will present a whirlwind tour through the medium of virtual worlds, starting from its beginnings in the 1960s and 1970s through its first incarnations on personal computers in the 1980s and then the arrival of virtual worlds on the Internet in the 1990s and their "second coming" in the past five years. With a happy cacophony of hundreds of virtual world platforms now available, Bruce will suggest how the future might unfold for this, the first true new medium of the 21st Century.

2009.03.25 "An Introduction to 3Di OpenSim Enterprise, and recent ScienceSim collaborations"

Speaker: Joppi Brandenburg is Johan Berntsson, Technical lead, 3Di; core developer, OpenSim

In this talk I will introduce and answer questions on the upcoming 3Di OpenSim Enterprise edition. 3Di has also been active in ScienceSim, and I will introduce the extsim plugin which allows external servers to display scientific data in-world. One example is a protein folding application that 3Di is helping  Earlman College to develop.

2009.03.18 "Project Wonderland Overview"

Speaker: Nicole Tucker is Nicole Yankelovich, Project Wonderland Lead, Sun Microsystems

Project Wonderland is an open source toolkit for creating 3D virtual worlds. The toolkit is designed specifically to support business and education collaboration. To this end, it supports immersive, high-fidelity audio as a core feature, live application sharing, and the ability to connect with external systems and data. Wonderland worlds not only allow users to share single user applications, but also to take advantage of both 2D and 3D applications written specifically for multiple users. Wonderland is highly extensible, allowing developers to create specialized worlds rather than one giant virtual world. This talk will describe Project Wonderland, using examples of virtual worlds created by the active open source community.

2009.03.11 "SHASPA - Intelligent Shared Spaces Building Worlds without Boundaries"

Speaker: Eolus McMillan is Oliver Goh, Business Development Executive, Implenia Global Solutions

SHASPA is an innovative platform and set of services that a blend of emerging technologies such as wireless sensors, social networks, virtual worlds and electronic games can plug into to create applications which integrate, visualise, monitor and manage the physical and virtual environment. SHASPA has been devised by a partnership between Swiss entrepreneur Oliver Goh and the Serious games Institute at Coventry University. Today's technologies in 3D immersive environments enable us to better visualise and understand the world around us and the SHASPA platform provides creative developers working on the integration of physical and virtual worlds TOOLS to develop and share new applications which foster better energy management, greater understanding of physical processes and the creation of intelligent shared spaces capable of delivering high value services to individuals working in those spaces.

This presentation will give a roadmap vision of the potential of integrating physical and virtual environments through the technologies being deployed in serious games, virtual worlds and social networks.

2009.03.04 "MMOX: Virtual Worlds Interoperability at the IETF"

Speaker: Zha Ewry is David Levine, IBM's TJ Watson Research Center

The Internet Engineering Task Force is considering chartering a working group on Massively Multiparty Online experiences. I will discuss some of the issues in looking at Interoperability between divergent virtual worlds, from both a technical and social perspective. I will provide some high level overview of the process and goals, and then pose a few questions, to hopefully spark a lively discussion.

2009.02.25 "ScienceSim: A Platform for Collaborative Visualization"

Speaker: Finrod Meriman is Mic Bowman, Intel Corporation.

The 3D Internet refers to a currently disparate but rapidly converging set of 3D technologies used for visualizing 3D information on the web. This convergence promises to provide a new set of collaborative tools with application in collaborative visualization, education, training and scientific discovery. As part of the Supercomputing Conference this year working with supporters in the community we have made available a virtual world, called ScienceSim, based on the open source package OpenSim. In ScienceSim we are exploring new usages of virtual worlds related to the visualization of large data sets, tools to make it easier to build these usages, and the impact these usages have on the underlying virtual world software infrastructure. This talk will primarily focus on our vision for ScienceSim, the impact of collaborative visualization, and some early experience.

2009.02.18 "Boundaries between Virtual Worlds: Portals or Portholes?"

Speaker: Halflife Fullstop is Greg Nuyens, CEO of Qwaq (

The vision of virtual worlds being fully interoperable has produced laudable goals: unified space browsers, transportable avatars, and asset persistence standards. However, mirroring other important technologies in the past, Virtual World interoperability early progress has been modest at best.   Learning from those earlier areas, we can see that periods of exploration and expansion have preceded standardization, clarification and simplification.  In this discussion, we'll explore whether practical interoperability across the "hulls" of virtual worlds can be advanced with "portholes" via video and sound.   Ideally, through the simplification enabled by piggybacking existing media standards, those portholes can be extended over time to lashups and Bosun's Chairs allowing movement between the vessels plying todays virtual oceans.

2009.02.11 "Sirikata: An open source approach to virtual worlds"

Speaker: Lys Ware is Henrik Bennetsen, Associate Director, Stanford Humanities Lab in RL.

Sirikata ( is an open source (BSD License) platform for virtual worlds. We aim to provide a set of libraries and protocols which can be used to deploy a virtual world, as well as fully featured sample implementations of services for hosting and deploying these worlds. We are aiming for an alpha release in late Q1 2009 and this video teaser ( should give you some sense of what to expect. For developers we have a video describing the system architecture (

See a video of this event.

For past transcripts go to ReLam Workshop Transcripts



  "Transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments." - Henry Jenkins

Let's talk about how Second Life and other Metaverse points can get integrated into a much larger overarching Transmedia plan.

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