IBM’s R&D in Second Life

Irving Wladawsky-Beger, VP, Technical Strategy and Innovation at the IBM Corporation, has been thinking about Second Life.

From the post:

“Last week I was in London. One of the main reasons for the trip was to meet with members of the press to discuss our new initiatives focused on the impact of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) on business, in particular those games that are truly best thought of as virtual worlds or virtual environments, like Second Life.

To learn what is required in a practical way, we have been using the Second Life platform to conduct a series of experiments, such as holding virtual meetings on a variety of subjects with groups of various sizes. The meeting participants are represented visually by their individual avatars or personalized icons in the virtual world. We are very interested in understanding how best to conduct such virtual meetings.


“To underline this importance we had Dr Irving Wladawsky-Berger our vice president of technology strategy and innovation at IBM over here in UK from the US. He is a well known figure inside and outside of IBM becuase of his very open attitude to ideas and his smart way of understanding so many areas that IBM works in. He freely admitted that he was put on the track of considering anything related to games technology a few years ago by Hursley’s Chris Sharp.

We put on a show for everyone around having a truly global meeting in Second Life as a backdrop to all our conversations. We had people from India, UK, US, Canada and even Australia, so some people were well into timezone hell.

We illustrated in the actions of the group how we had all taken to the excellant multi gadget chairs by Timeless Prototype. As this lets us indicate we are indeed having a meeting despite the fact that you really dont need to sit down in a virtual world.

To show how we energize brainstorms we used a favourite of Idz Ni’s (and now most of eightbar) of the Abramelin Wolfe canon that lets us fire ourselves about the island. This is the equivalent of taking a 3 min break for chocolate in RL.”


“IBM’s vice president Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, held a press meet-up in Second Life last week while in London – and in the process brought IBM’s “secret” Second Life island out of the shadows.

The purpose of the press meet-up was to discuss why IBM considers Second Life so important. IBM has been researching and experimenting with virtual worlds to understand, among other things, the importance of visual imagery to convey information – and a vast range of other aspects of human interaction with visual and virtual spaces. IBM believes virtual worlds and gaming will have a huge impact on IT, business, society and our personal lives in the very near future.”


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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