This blog post is to provide details of of the virtual world and metaverse platform meeting spaces for AIAI in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.
- Get an OpenSim avatar at http://osgrid.org if you don’t already have one.
- Download and install the OpenSim compatible version of the Firestorm Viewer.
- Login and look round, you usually arrive at an OSGrid Plaza. Follow the arrows on the floor to get an orientation and pick up starter avatars.
- Open the Map (Ctrl+M), find the “OpenVCE” region and teleport there.
A virtual world social space for AIAI use is available on the OpenSimulator-based OSGrid platform. This is to help AIAI members to maintain contacts and have meeting spaces to share ideas andve at sn OSGrid Plaza wh resources while the University of Edinburgh physical premises are unavailable. AIAI members without an existing OpenSim grid avatar should obtain a free one on OSGrid (the OpenSim community grid) via http://osgrid.org.
The OSGrid OpenVCE region is open to look around since it is accessible from any Hypergrid enabled OpenSimulator grid using a map tool search for this “http://hg.osgrid.org:80 OpenVCE” or this “hop” in viewers which support that (e.g. Firestorm):
The facility uses the OpenVCE OAR, a ready to load open source virtual collaboration environment with a range of formal and informal meeting spaces, instrumented meeting rooms, exposition facilities, etc.
An AIAI group has also been established on OSGrid and can, if necessary, be used to restrict availability of some of the facilities or be used for group voice chat.
Get started with OpenSim (using OSGrid)
- I-Room – a Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction
- OpenVCE – Open Virtual Collaboration Environment
- OpenVCE – Availability of OAR (Opensimulator Archive)
Central Plaza – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/124/128/23
Map Board – Teleporters – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/150/100/23
I-Room – Clickers – Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction
Classroom – Clickers – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/82/128/23
Expo Pavilion A – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/100/185/23
Expo Pavilion B – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/156/185/23
Dome – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/50/50/23
Amphitheatre – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/34/222/23
Breakout Rooms – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/42/214/23
Project Space 1 – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/172/214/23
Project Space 2 – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/235/214/23
Group Suite Yellow – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/245/200/24
Group Suite Blue – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/245/178/24
Hilltop Viewpoint- hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/178/75/44
Cavern Campfire – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/191/65/21
Picnic Tables – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/46/70/22
Offshore Canyon – Scuba Dive – hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/OpenVCE/240/110/22
Media Screens and Presenters
There are a number of media and presentation screens available.
- The “Clever Zebra Presentation System” in the Amphitheatre can have multiple screens operating on separate channels and uses a laptop to control the slides sent to any screen via the selected channel. The slides are loaded into the laptop and presented in alphabetical order. A slide named “logo” is used for the “off” texture. Control is possible by any avatar that has the selected group active with the default scripts.
- The Freeview Screen can show any slide for textures added into the screen on a manual basis or loop through them. It can also be set to show a wide range of media, web pages, movies, etc. using the single “media texture” of the land plot it is on (set via the “Parcel Details”/”About Land” Media tab for those with appropriate permission). Control is possible by any avatar that has the selected group active with the default scripts.
- The OpenVCE SlideShow screen can present any texture loaded into it, with thumbnails displayed along its bottom edge. This screen is usually open to any user. Control is possible by any avatar that has the selected group active with the default scripts.
- OpenVCE Presenter is a screen which can show media set up within the screen or via URLs from web sites, such as PowerPoint presentations. It requires a web service to mperate, so may not be available in all setups.
- Media on a Prim (MOAP) screens can show the contents of a URL including embedded video, etc, useful for YouTube videos including live streams. Usually any user can set the URL though group or social arrangements may be in place to ask you to avoid changing URLs being shared. For web sites where a login is required you usually see your own view personal of the content.
- GraffitiBoard is a simple mechanism for displaying text messages.
Voting or acknowledgement “clickers” are available in two of the meeting spaces, in the I-Room and the Classroom. A control button clears the clickers in the specific space.
All spaces are enabled for Vivox 3D positional voice, which will drop off depending on distance from avatar camera. At present, to keep things simple, the spaces are not given boundaries to separate voice channels for different meetings areas, though that can be done if it becomes useful.
Permissions and Land Zones
OpenSim allows for a wide range of permissions for building on regions, controlling objects in world, taking copies of items, etc. These can be on an individual avatar basis, or for members of groups, etc. the OpenVCE region on OSGrid may need to be adjusted to allow for AIAI members or those specific roles within the group to be given access to screens, etc. Areas of land on a region can be made into separate land plots ort zones to control the propagation of voice and allow for different access and functionality.
The original work to create the OpenVCE region was done on the US Army ARL HRED funded Virtual Collaboration Environment project by AIAI using Clever Zebra as a contractor/3D modelling group.
Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014 [PDF Format].
AIAI Discord Channel
AIAI Discord Invite Link: https://discord.gg/nHEAjS6