Ethos Erlanger's Virtual Building Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

Archive for the ‘Second Life’ Category

My Recent Days in Second Life

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 5, 2011

The opportunity to serve as the Co-Executive Director of Virtual Museums is both pleasurable and enriching.  I am given the opportunity to look back on some great exhibits from the past and look forward to a new era in the life of Virtual Museums.

The board and staff of Virtual Museums are a great bunch of people.  My guess is that there are few groups in SL that have such a large staff with so many talents.  Now the challenge to be faced is to put all that talent to use doing the wonderful, enriching and sometimes ordinary things that can be done in the unique ways that only the virtual world will allow.

We recently renamed and redid our website: There is a calendar of events and short posts much like a blog.  It is quite  easily managed by the staff now.  Thank you Otterax Avalanche for your help getting this going.  You can view the calendar here:

We will be putting out displays of new buildings and you can read in more detail what the plans are for the museum region.  When things are easier to read and find via the website, we will use the tools that fit the task the best.

During our restructuring, I had the opportunity to explore Second Life for the ways that we can help other organizations with their goals.  We have found a few groups already that are eager to work together and continue to look for more ways to collaborate when both parties will benefit from it.

Enjoy your second Life, Ethos


Posted in Second Life, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Museums, Inc. Complies with Cease and Desist Order

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on December 12, 2010

The purpose of this post is to say that we did everything we could to meet the demands set forth in the Cease and Desist Order that came to Virtual Museums, Inc.

Our museum in Second Life that had previously featured exclusively the work of the greatest architect of the 20th century is gone.  In its place is currently a winter scene that is inviting to ice skaters and anyone who wished some tranquility.  We will have a dance or two between now and January 1st.  In the mean time, we will be meeting to brainstorm and set a new course for the coming year.  Great architecture is not exclusive to one man, even though he thought so.  We will find ways to educate people from around the world about other greats.  Then we will let the visitors decide for themselves.  We may find a young student who will become the next Starchitect.  In this newest of visual mediums, the scene may be set to discover and showcase the works of young (or old) architects who need their ideas exposed to a global audience.  Maybe a dead architect was not the way to go for us.

Enjoy your Second Life,


Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | 1 Comment »

The Guggenheim Wall Ring Improved

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on July 5, 2010

The Guggenehim Wall Ring - Improved

Better than flat now, this ring is made of 24 prims

This ring shows how I would combine multiple sculpties to create the outer walls of the Guggenheim.  I do not yet know the dimensions of each of the outer rings of the walls I need to create the Guggenheim model at the level of detail that I envision.  This demonstration ring does however gives me confidence that the project is quite doable with the skills and tool that I have available in Second Life.

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, The Virtual Guggenheim, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | Leave a Comment »

Pondering the Possible in Virtuality

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 20, 2010

I am struggling in my First Virtual Life.  There are so many things that cannot be done there.  I have mentioned a few in this blog, and I may embark on a detailed study of  what is currently not possible.

At the risk of offending a respected blog that has gone silent, I am thinking of starting a counter blog about the things that are Not Possible in my First Virtual Life.

Once it is up and running, I urge you all to join me and add comments of the things you would love to see in your virtual life that are currently not possible.

Here are just a few for starters:

  • Slow Walk
  • Reduced Gravity on the Moon Simulation
  • Dance Cam
  • Scalable Mega Prims
  • Smooth Region Crossings
  • Interoperability between other Virtual Worlds

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Second Life | Leave a Comment »

Will SL Face The Challenge?

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 31, 2010


SL will fall to a distant third place. Their vast wasteland will be relegated to the stalkers, gawkers, and talkers.

There will emerge new places where truly innovative collaborators of 3D environments will feel at home.  There will also be the new, wider array of educational venues made for 21st century teaching.  Then there will be a long agonizing death for Second Life.  A victim of their own design.  In the future of internet interoperability, the need for cross-platform prim sharing will relegate the Linden Lab business model to be nothing more than an also-ran in a pack of faster, stronger, hungry, competitive, newcomers.

These newcomers will fill a need for a calm sea on which to sail new ideas, bigger ships, and feed the needs of the prim-hungry planners of the future.  Second Life will be nothing more than the stagnant backwaters away from the main stream of virtuality; nothing more than a museum of the fast walking, faster flying, avatars of the past.  It never was and never will be a place conducive to a calm leisurely stroll through a visually appealing landscape.  Linden Lab created Second Life as a mere homage to the days of fast muscle cars of the 20th century.  A drag strip where teenagers came to show off what they made in their garage. A lifestyle that will become totally unsustainable in this millennium.

Enjoy your virtual Life,


Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | 1 Comment »

It’s Not About the Viewer – The State of Motion in Virtual Worlds

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 12, 2010

Time for a short rant.  A new viewer will never make virtual worlds any better than they are.  What we need are better motion controls.  Does this sound like a broken record?  It is.  All my searching has been in vain.  There seems to be no way to truly exert the proper motion control over an avatar that adequately simulates walking up stairs or the side of a hill.  There seems to be no way to simulate the grip of your hand if you were climbing a mountain.  The granularity of all of the various virtual worlds is still extremely “course”.

Based on the apparent lack of interest in true simulation of body mechanics, my prediction is that 2 or more years will pass and I will still be in search of a “slow walk”.  A walking speed suitable for a leisurely stroll through a park or museum.  I am looking for an avatar speed slow enough to feel like the underwater simulations of swimming with the ocean marine life is slow enough to be believed;  Or, the altered physics and slow motion of a moon walk as we saw it on television 40 years ago.

Have you seen the speed of the old person in a walker?  Or an octogenarian with a cane?  It is not captured properly in virtual worlds.

See you in two years and we can catch up on the status of the State of Motion in Virtual Worlds.  (unless I reprise this topic sooner)

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, OpenSim, OpenSim on a Local Server, Second Life, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | Leave a Comment »

News to Celebrate! – UPDATE

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 28, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum

Dateline: Usonia, Second Life

Until the official news release has been blessed by both parties, I will paraphrase what has happened. The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum has been granted a license by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The news release that I had used was prematurely sent out to the staff members of the museum.  I simply published what I believed was an official press release.  I will now wait for the official joint announcement to come.

The excitement for me comes from the fact that this will allow me to access the archives at the FLW Foundation and use them to build the most precise renderings of Mr. Wright’s work.

High on my list will be the Guggenheim in NYC and the Dana Thomas House.

I would also like to do Taliesin which is set on the rolling hills of Wisconsin with much of the property that surrounds it.  This may be a task I set aside for an Open Sim mega region where size and prim count are not such a constraint as it is in Second Life.  I am hoping this brings out other builders who have always dreamed of building for the great architect so that more of his work makes it into the virtual world for all to see.

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | 1 Comment »

Virtual Museums Anyone?

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 17, 2010

The officially licensed installation of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life is about to be born.  Yes it has been in Second Life for a period of time while we talked with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  All life forms have a gestation period.  I had little to do with it. But I like to think I planted a seed when Lox and I built Fallingwater in Second Life with no official approval.  We did ask permission and did not receive it. Maybe we did not have critical mass back then.  Being turned down did not dissuade us from leaving Fallingwater up and on display in Second Life.  We discussed it and felt that if we never sold it and never charged admission, it was fair use.  And since we were never pressed on the subject, that counts as a good thing. We never did or said anything to offend any of the various rights holders, so I guess it is a case of no harm, no foul.

I repeat that I had little to do with the creation of the museum. I did write some emails and left voice messages at an opportune time asking for plans and dimensions of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.  I reached just the right person at the Guggenheim by following up on a referral given to me by Leslie Weston through her work at Harvard.  Those emails and phone messages turned into a phone call to me one afternoon back in early October of 2009 from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  I immediately called  Assistant Director Rosalie Oldrich and she, together with Museum CEO Frey Bravin carried the ball forward from there.  The rest, as they say is history.

I am told that the agreement will be signed this week, and I will write more after it is official.

Again, I did little for the museum other than place a copy of our Fallingwater at the museum and do a bit of terra-forming around it. I made the waterfall and made smoke come out of the fireplace chimney.  I dressed up as Frank Lloyd Wright one night at a dance that was held at the museum.  It is not a long list of contributions, but I feel comfortable when I go there.  I feel at home there.  I enjoy myself at the museum both alone and with friends.

Enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | Leave a Comment »