26 Nov 2013

Style Matters!

This year's Machinima-Expo 6 focused on intense discussions regarding the medium we love for game engine film making known as Machinima (that portmanteau describing cinema done on machine).

There were many great presentations which I urge all to see, plus of course the fabulous films which reflect a depth and breadth of talent within our Independent film community, that does indeed make this the medium to watch.

Within this context I was asked to contribute a piece on Style in Machinima, which I share here on my blog. This is the real life Pooky whom you will see appear...For some reason I can't find that same shade of red I usually wear in Second Life though....Certainly hope you enjoy.

On Style in Machinima with Pooky Amsterdam from Ricky Grove on Vimeo.

25 Oct 2013

Flufee On Demand: Our "Bugs Bunny" for the Digital Age

Flufee is a character brought to life through the efforts of Bernhard Drax and myself which illustrates in the best way possible how profound a medium this game engine virtual reality is that we work on. Flufee has a virtual identity and presence that is strongly connected to his core brand > Adorableness. He could be a Bugs Bunny for the Digital age, all wisecrack and charm.

In this post he talks (Drax & I gave him full perms on this one) about what The Producers' life is like and some worthwhile reflections as always emanate from his flufeeness. Or His Flufeeness as I am always put on Upper case notice with this little guy.

Please feel free to comment and of course enjoy!


17 Aug 2013

The Origins of VWTV

This movement started in the last century in the 1990's. Prompted by the Home Shopping Network of all things...(Hey I understand that connection, I was just talking to a friend about "Skypey Sales") I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Steven Benford about his past work in this field.

Truly an insightful and awe inspiring piece. Can someone get me Barry Diller on the phone?

Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV

14 Aug 2013

The Channel

Richard Kastelein, Publisher of TV AppMarket, has co-authored a piece on machinima with me for the magazine of The Association of International Broadcasting called The Channel.

In 2013, The Channel has a print subscriber base of more than 6,600 decision-makers in international and national television and radio broadcasters as well as related manufacturing and service provision companies in over 120 countries world-wide. The Channel has significant additional distribution to delegates at key industry events throughout the year – such as CSTB, Moscow; Mobile World Congress, Barcelona; IPTV World Forum, London; FT Digital Media Conference, London; IBC, Amsterdam; NewsXchange; AppsWorldEurope, London. In its print and electronic form, The Channel has a combined reach of over 25,000 named professionals in the broadcasting and related industries in over 120 countries worldwide.


A profound thrill to have the article published and it's a great read!

13 Aug 2013

It Happened One World

When CarrieLynn and myself first started talking about Virtual World Entertainment, I told her of my humble beginnings in a text based world where there was no scripting allowed, everything had to be bought from the platform's in-house catalog and it was text based only. Seems like a long time ago, but it was only a decade ago, before YouTube and Twitter though, so it might have been another lifetime. In some ways it was...I started out in 2.5D.

Please have a read - and next week we look at more origins of the species with the beginning of Inhabited TV - but for now, time to "get a room"

VWTV Beyond Second Life: Pooky and Habbo Hotel

17 Jul 2013

The Views From The Crews

What makes up a great show is often found in the people who are part of it on all levels. The crew is essential to the entertainment. Here is an insightful look into what makes a crew member tick and pulse and want to be part of the bigger picture. Get ready to get into the show:


21 Jun 2013

JWVR > The Journal Of Virtual Worlds Research

Working towards publication of our book on the phenomenon of Virtual World TV, the prestigious JVWR in the Arts issue which has recently come out has CarrieLynn & my piece.

JVWR Volume 6, Number 2 (2013): Arts

Please have a read, this is an incredible arena for the future of television and the ability of the viewer to become part of the program and even author to it themselves. Truly something which could only exist now, and which will undoubtedly grow in the future as we look to the future of entertainment.

8 Jun 2013

SLNewser comes to call

Interview With Pooky Amsterdam: Part One

The remarkable and wonderful Bixyl Shuftan of The SLNewser, has made his name known far & wide with this great publication in Second Life. Bix, as he is known to his friends, is a remarkable visionary on what Virtual Worlds mean in modern times. From a press stand point, he really covers the gridfront on what goes on, where, why, when and how. He got the backstory on yours truly and with great pride and admiration for the man behind the screen who wears that trench coat and hat with remarkable aplomb - here is part 1 of my interview in The SLNewser! Feel free to quote from it!

24 May 2013

The Art Form Of Machinima

Having worked in this medium for almost a decade producing, writing and originating virtual entertainment it was really fated to meet and begin working with someone who has a very strong vision for the future with the strength and the brilliance to move forward. Please enjoy our article on the Art Form known as machinima -

The Artform of Machinima

17 May 2013

A Vision of the Future of VWTV

A few years ago when I was presenting at SLCC in Boston, I found myself quoting someone named CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, because I was just so impressed with her observations and insight. A while later we met, and she was on The 1st Questio, (and won!). In getting to know each other mutually, we began collaborating on a book, the subject of great importance to us both, that of Virtual World Television. We interviewed over 30 producers of almost 60 shows, and all of them from Second Life for a multitude of reasons: Building Tools / Networks / IP Rights / Accessibility. The co-opting of TV into virtual worlds makes "What are you doing on TV tonight, honey?" possible.


This interview is about the future of TV as it relates to being part of the show in unique ways which are afforded by immersion in a 3D environment. For those of you who have been part of the crew, panel and/or audience of The 1st Question and/or The Dating Casino you know firsthand what it's like. I also thank you very much for being a part of it through this project. The book will analyze, discuss and reveal a phenomenon that the producers of virtual entertainment have made through their many wonderful shows and skills.

10 Jan 2013

2013 - Predictions for the upcoming year!

Here we have them - a few predictions and inventions that have been on the back burner and thought its time to trot them out. With the new year also comes the forward look we tend to take, where will be at this time next year and where were we in the past?  Given some thought to this over the past few weeks, but didn't want to to post it till we all safely made it into the New Year! And yes, we are all in this together!

Happy New Year and please feel free to add any predictions and / or comments you like - Its going to be a good one.

2013 New Year Predictions

1)       AR is cool but very small and with a possibility of overcrowding the screen – There will be developed Giant AR screens that are part of every city. For example tourists can stand behind them and choose to see  - highlights from the past from a variety of decades. Sponsorship will be subtly embedded

2)       Google video recording glasses will continue to grow in popularity – with a new twist – you will be able to use video of yourself and insert yourself into any action that occurs. For example – You &   Felix Baumgartner can show you the long way down – or your nephew and you skateboarding. You can have  a standard portrait signature a la Docusign OR upload  a fresh video of Yourself so you can photo bomb all world events sort of live and in color. Forget having to wait to win a “walk-On” in a movie with YouVideoGoog you just insert yourself anywhere- Appropriate costuming comes next year

3)       VR suits – more than just headwear this will allow the entire body to feel an impact within a virtual environment. The suit will have multiple pressure points and allow the user to walk into the VR experience which will be set up as a projection on a large screen that can be installed between rooms

4)       Theater of the Virtual – There will be the conversion of movie theaters to game centers with each  seat having a PC and keyboard / console so people can come out for a nigh of entertainment with the other people in the theater. For example one night its World of Warcraft – so local folks can go to the theater log in from their seats and watch on the giant screen in front of them the action play out as they play / fight / build with the other people in the theater.  The next thing in the anonymous yet personal space of social games

5)       The ability for Unity3D to be combined with entertainment systems such as Samsung will mean that people will be able to play at home avatar based game shows on the TV> What are you DOING on TV tonight becomes the new meme as people take on animated characters  to play right along on the TV game shows which test knowledge skill & fear factors.

6)       Someone will create the worlds first car made entirely of LEGO that actually drives

7)       Cars will go beyond self driving to self programmable – you will only have to put your Google map into its system of your point A to B and away it goes.

8)       People will increase their use of personal generators  and be able to power their electronic equipment through pedalling a stationary bicycle

9)       Virtual goods will grow – Virtual gifting for those who want to send something immediately will be broadly accepted facebook and other networks – You will be able to send Guy Kawasaki a Virtual Motorcycle for example on his birthday. People will collect various models and there will be a growth of virtual good asset trading with V-Bay. Also when people have accumulated a certain number of virtual assets – they will be redeemable for physical goods. Look for Virtual Shoes of the Month Club to start

10)   Video Networking will grow – with individuals creating their own Home Video Shopping Channels where they can hawk their craft products or even sell/auction those items with a story. Think QVC for the YouTube generation.

11)   Someone will make an inflatable car, that is self – driving and I will use it.

12)   Someone will create an insanely popular social network that allows people to tweet both drunk & anonymously. I would have registered Dwitter.com but its already taken!