U.S. Army simulations are freely downloadable

Military releases Atropia simulation The U.S. Army’s Atropia simulation build — all nine regions of it — is now available for anyone to download and install on their own grid. The work is released under a Creative Commons license that allows people to use the build for any purpose, including commercial, to adapt it and redistribute it, as long as the work is attributed to the original source and shared under the same Creative Commons license. “In a nutshell, feel free to use the scenarios and modify them to your needs,” said Douglas Maxwell, the science and technology manager for … Continue reading U.S. Army simulations are freely downloadable

Virtual gaming destroys real money

Spaceships worth more than $200,000 destroyed in biggest virtual space battle ever EVE Online has its own economics, politics, and trade systems, built almost entirely by players in the 10 years the game has been running. It also has its own wars, as huge alliances vie for control of tracts of space in the massively multiplayer online game. One such conflict came to a head yesterday in the biggest battle in the game’s decade-long history. More than 2,200 of the game’s players, members of EVE’s largest alliances, came together to shoot each other out of the sky. The resultant damage … Continue reading Virtual gaming destroys real money

Fully immersive experiences in gaming

Disruptions: The Holodeck Begins to Take Shape Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are playing poker together. No, this isn’t a bad physics joke. It’s a scene from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” It takes place in a holodeck, a simulated-reality room in the fictional Star Trek universe. The three scientists — or at least computer-generated versions of them — have been transported to the 2300s to play cards with Lt. Cmdr. Data. “I don’t even know why I’m here in the first place,” Newton says. While the show is set in the future, some scientists and researchers say … Continue reading Fully immersive experiences in gaming

Do you need a virtual coach for your career?

Meet ‘Ellie’, your new virtual human acquisition career guide If you think the movie “Her” is futuristic, members of the Office of the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) have someone for you to meet. “Ellie” is her name and this virtual human looks and speaks to you just as any human would in the Virtual Acquisition Career Guide (VACG) prototype. The prototype program provides the opportunity for a user to interact with a virtual “person” and receive personalized career feedback and assistance. The Army DACM team presented the prototype to the Army DACM, Lt. Gen. William Phillips on … Continue reading Do you need a virtual coach for your career?

Virtual money in UK is increasing

Podex, Zetamex team up on new currency UK-based virtual currency exchange Podex has teamed up with West Virginia-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex to offer a new currency option for OpenSim grids. Today, grids have three choices for in-world payments: a local currency that they create and manage themselves, the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — from Austrian currency exchange Virwox, or PayPal. The total value of OMC transactions has more than tripled last year, but the Podex-Zetamex alternative will offer a couple of advantages, said Zetamex CEO Timothy Rogers. First, the two vendors are working to make shopping … Continue reading Virtual money in UK is increasing

Online gamers are smart

How online gamers are solving science’s biggest problems For all their virtual accomplishments, gamers aren’t feted for their real-world usefulness. But that perception might be about to change, thanks to a new wave of games that let players with little or no scientific knowledge tackle some of science’s biggest problems. And gamers are already proving their worth. In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks. A … Continue reading Online gamers are smart

What makes Minecraft so popular?

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft) On March 28, 2011, a man who calls himself Kurt J. Mac loaded a new game of Minecraft. As the landscape filled in around his character, Mac surveyed the blocky, pixellated trees, the cloud-draped, mountains, and the waddling sheep. Then he started walking. His goal for the day was simple: to reach the end of the universe. Nearly three years later, Mac, who is now thirty-one, is still walking. He has trekked more than seven hundred virtual kilometres in a hundred and eighty hours. At his current pace, Mac will … Continue reading What makes Minecraft so popular?

Travel in augmented reality

Google Tools for Globetrotters “O.K., Glass,” I said, peering at a photo of a Spanish street sign through Google Glass, the lens-less augmented-reality “glasses.” “Translate this.” I gently tapped, then swiped my pointer finger along a narrow touch pad on the side of the Glass frame as if scrolling through the contact list on my iPhone — only I was scrolling through the names of romance languages, each of which appeared on a tiny virtual screen in the distance, in line with my right eye. When the word “Spanish” materialized, I tapped the side of the glasses to select it, … Continue reading Travel in augmented reality

Life becomes theatre with the aid of virtual reality

Virtual reality theatre puts experience of brain damage centre stage In 2007, Jane Gauntlett was planning for a career in theatre when she was violently mugged and fell into a coma for three weeks. She suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the long term legacy of which includes epileptic seizures and short term memory and communication problems. “When I woke from the coma I had no idea how severe the injury was. I was adamant that I was to become a freelance theatre producer,” says Gauntlett, who had completed the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme while working previously for … Continue reading Life becomes theatre with the aid of virtual reality

How your pc reveals your emotions

With emotion recognition algorithms, computers know what you’re thinking Back when Google was first getting started, there were plenty of skeptics who didn’t think a list of links could ever turn a profit. That was before advertising came along and gave Google a way to pay its bills — and then some, as it turned out. Thanks in part to that fortuitous accident, in today’s Internet market, advertising isn’t just an also-ran with new technologies: Marketers are bending innovation to their needs as startups chase prospective revenue streams. A handful of companies are developing algorithms that can read the human … Continue reading How your pc reveals your emotions