Oct 12

CSI: NY and the OnRez Second Life Viewer

Category: RL Meets SL, Second Life Viewer, TV by Stone Culdesac

Browsing the web while in the OnRez viewer
There has been lots of talk about the upcoming episode of CSI: NY that involves Gary Senise’s character going inworld into Second Life to track down a killer, the video below was released by CBS and it shows an avatar falling to the ground, all bloodied up and dead looking.

This certainly looks a lot better than the recent episode of Law & Order SVU, called Avatar, which featured a virtual world that wasn’t real. Come on, you know it’s funny. Their virtual world was referred to as AY, I heard them call it Alternate Youniverse and Another Youniverse, or at least I think I did, and it was very similar to Second Life, but they did not show very much of it. CSI sounds like it is going to be a very involved episode, where they are trying to pull in people to Second Life by having them help track down the killer.

Viewers will download Second Life with the new viewer created by The Electric Sheep Company, the OnRez viewer, the process will go like this, viewers register on CBS.com for the CSI: NY Virtual Experience and pick their
avatar, they then download Second Life with the customized OnRez viewer and a toolbar to follow the killer from the show through some virtual experiences in Second Life. The killer will not be found in this episode though, to give users a chance to explore some more stuff in Second Life

A lot more involved than the Law & Order episode, and a lot easier on users who can become overwhelmed by the initial Second Life experience. The Electric Sheep Company has made their viewer look like a web browser, with a back button, which I can’t wait to try out ;), the familiar looking home button, hidden some of the stuff new users don’t need to use yet, and made it a lot easier to get started on your own.

“The custom viewer is an important part of our cross-platform initiative around CSI: New York,” said Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY. “We wanted to make the transition between the show, the Web and Second Life as seamless as possible. The new viewer makes navigating the virtual world more intuitive and accessible to all of the show’s fans.”

“The OnRez viewer is a great example of the ecosystem of content and software that is being built on top of the Second Life Grid platform,” said Ginsu Yoon, VP of Business Affairs from Linden Lab. “We are supportive of our entire developer community, and The Electric Sheep Company\’s technology is no exception — we hope this viewer will be a great option for new and existing Second Life users.” Source: The Electric Sheep Company Unveils New Viewer for Second Life

Some of the improvements of the OnRez browser:

  • Redesigned interface to improve the user’s experience

  • Built-in search, shopping, and virtual currency purchasing services from the OnRez software suite
  • Improved location navigation allowing users to easily ‘jump back and forth’ among Second Life sites, just as they do on the Web
  • Improved integration and browsing of the Web from inside the virtual world

They give some more information on their blog,

Our goal is to simplify the user experience for a more mainstream audience, and we are launching this new viewer as part of the upcoming CSI:NY project with CBS. We have changed the overall look and menu structures, and moved closer to a Web browser-like model with things like teleport history and a “Back” button. We’ve also made Web browsing much more seamless within the Viewer, and with that comes easier access to OnRez services like Shop and Search (launching with later this month with the CSI project).

While this Viewer is commercially licensed from Linden Lab, we plan on working with the open source community and contributing to the community where it makes sense. I think some existing Second Life users will quite take to the new Viewer, while some heavier SL users might be thrown by the changes and need a little more time to adjust. I should note explicitly that 1. this launch is a first step and we are excited for all the new capabilities we plan for the viewer; and 2. that our target audience is focused on new users rather than Second Life power users. Source: ESC Unveils New Viewer for Second Life

If many viewers start using Second Life because of this show, then this will certainly put the Electric Sheep Company on the map, to have thousands of users using your client and buying stuff from your website will certainly add a nice, new income stream, and the more your name is heard associated with stuff, the more of an expert you become on the subject. This is one company that has the possibility of a big explosion and growth, and they will continue to add to and update the OnRez viewer, saying “The Electric Sheep Company plans a steady stream of enhancements to the viewer, both in terms of usability and value-added services”.

Set your DVR for 10pm Eastern time on October 24th, I normally don’t watch the CSI shows, but I’m sure going to check this one out, and follow along and see how much easier of a start it will be compared to the Linden Labs Second Life Client and Orientation Island.

Note: Visit http://viewer.onrez.com/ to get notified when the OnRez Viewers launches.

Spoiler: On the CSI: NY TV show, the killer will not be caught until the February 6th episode.

Gary Sinise standing in front of his Second Life avatar

Popularity: 5%

6 Comments so far

  1. [...] here, subscribe to our feed, and check out the latest interaction between Second Life and TV, CSI: NY and the OnRez Second Life Viewer. The Electric Sheep Company have even created a new, open source, easier to use Second Life Viewer [...]

  2. [...] here, subscribe to our feed, and check out the latest interaction between Second Life and TV, CSI: NY and the OnRez Second Life Viewer. The Electric Sheep Company have even created a new, open source, easier to use Second Life Viewer [...]

  3. [...] having to explain as much as you normally each and every time you help someone get started. As I mentioned earlier, you can go to http://viewer.onrez.com/ and signup for notifications of when the browser will be [...]

  4. [...] NY - Down the Rabbit Hole I don’t believe I had seen the name of the CSI: NY episode that will feature the star going inworld in Second Life to try to track down a killer, the episode [...]

  5. upshaw October 23rd, 2007 6:16 pm

    Good to see Second Life getting real world buzz like this. I came across a conference called Managing Virtual Distance and one of the keynote presenters is Philip Rosedale - the founder of Second Life. I wonder if it is a concerted effort by Linden Labs to get out there and promote. Here’s that conference link: http://www.iirusa.com/virtual

  6. [...] this guy look like one of the criminals from the CSI: NY sim? Or is it that noob I keep running into at that sex exercise [...]

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