Business - Written by on Friday, July 27, 2007 13:30 - 5 Comments

Derek Pokora
Wii Meets Second Life

According to MIT research fellow David E. Stone in a fantastic article posted in Wired Magazine today, the motion sensitive controller is “one of the most significant technology breakthroughs in the history of computer science.”

The Wiimote, the controller that comes with Nintendo’s Wii system, is being looked at as the key to building realistic training simulators within the virtual world of Second Life. Using this product, individuals can have the potential to learn how to perform surgery, inspect buildings, or even learn how to drive using Google Maps and Google Earth. A more intuitive and tactile human-centric controller allows one to move their avatar and manipulate their environment in a more realistic manner.

However, Nintendo isn’t such a big fan of having their closed system components being hacked. Why would they? Second Life participants would have access to creating far superior avatars with an almost unlimited potential of games and activities. And this is precisely what is occuring.

Released under GNU General Public License (GPL) (open source) the Wii4SL Sourceforge Project is enabling people to do as such. The Wii4SL extends the open source version of the LindenLab SecondLife viewer with support for the Nintendo Wii Controller. You can now navigate your avatar through virtual space with the ease of the Wii Controller.

An example of this is the video below from YouTube. Instead of sitting at the computer and having your avatar walk around on Second Life, why not do the actual walking yourself?

Or even better yet, why not just go for an actual run in real life? It’s far less expensive than having all of the equipment necessary, and I’m sure the view would be far nicer. Besides, hopping up and down on a treadmill places just as much stress on your joints and doesn’t provide you with as good of a cardiovascular workout as a run would.

Simply because something can be virtually replicated, that doesn’t mean that it necessarily should be.

However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.



5 Comments

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Nikki Papadopoulos
Jul 27, 2007 17:05

One of my favorite developments in Second Life has been the use of it as a tool for university education. One female architecture student from Sweden designed a dance space in Second Life in collaboration with a (physical) local one. Together they produced a performance in her Second Life theater that was projected onto several screens in the real life performance space. Online participants saw projections of the real-world attendees; and as the virtual audience moved around, they change the performance in both real and second life. Now if only they had wii controllers for the performance–they’d really be dancing.

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » Gaming and healthcare
Oct 24, 2007 14:45

[...] and healthcare A few months back my colleague Derek blogged about the potential applications of the Wii, Second Life and other gaming technologies in [...]

Study shows virtual sport no substitute - yet : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service
Dec 30, 2007 17:20

[...] Imagine the kilometres covered if you had to actually walk around World of Warcraft or Second Life? This has been done once but there’s no official development of such options that I’m aware [...]

Lorelei Mission
Sep 8, 2009 1:55

Re “Or even better yet, why not just go for an actual run in real life? …I’m sure the view would be far nicer.”

Good lord, Derek, where do you live?

Writers are frequently forgetting that there are many areas of the world where it’s dangerous (or just plain gross) to go outside for a run.

This is one reason why virtual worlds are so important!

kayleigh
Nov 12, 2009 8:45

i wonder if the wii jog will work with secondlife too? also is anybody having any luck with sl on windows7? it seems to come up with a message ,something to do with video card idk what

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