Tag Archives: Blue Mars

Blue Mars makes it to the iPhone

In mid-January, CEO Jim Sink announced that Avatar Reality was going to cease development for Blue Mars on the PC and focus on iOS rollout. The much anticipated launch of Blue Mars over a browser interface was also suspended indefinitely. Obviously a great disappointment for all of us touting Blue Mars as the next generation (and successor) to Second Life. On Friday, Feb. 4th, Avatar Reality held true to its promise to rollout an iPhone/iPad app of Blue Mars. Like you, the first thought to cross my mind was, "that's fast". On closer examination, it is much less then what I had expected. The free Blue Mars app is more like a Hot or Not website for avatars. As in any virtual reality environment your avatar is who you are so why not have an app to rate your avatar. The app provides you with those avatars that are Top Rated and a Recent option to see what's newly submitted. In a company announcement:
...features for future updates include account registration, avatar customization, integration with social networking platforms, the ability to chat with other Blue Mars users, and integrated shopping for clothing and other items via Apple’s in-App purchase feature.
In a effort to get a broader adoption of it's Blue Mars environment, this is a good first step in avatar familiarization. The question remains, will this help to grow the community on Blue Mars which has stalled because of PC hardware requirements. We'll have to wait and see what continues to be made available on mobile platforms.

Wagner James Au joins Blue Mars

Wagner James AuLong time blogger, virtual world enthusiast and Kailua local boy, Wagner James Au will join the team at Avatar Reality, maker of virtual world, Blue Mars. His primary function at Avatar Reality will be to maintain his blog Blue World Notes, an ongoing journal documenting the launch, evolution and emerging online community of the user-generated 3D virtual world Blue Mars. Au's experience started with the virtual world of Second Life. Back in 2008, Au wrote the book, The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World. He was also a contract writer from 2003-2006 for Linden Lab, creators of Second Life, primarily hired by the company to cover SL as an embedded journalist writing about the evolving social norms in the virtual environment. The blog continues at New World Notes, but to answer the question, will Au still write about Second Life? Au says:
Yes, New World Notes will continue to cover great Second Life content. To avoid conflicts of interest, I won’t editorialize or report on Linden Lab the company while consulting with Blue Mars. For the duration, my coverage will instead be around the topics that have always enthralled me most: The creativity of the community, and the cultural themes they provoke. I’ll also expand NWN’s editorial team, coverage of OpenSim, next generation gaming, and topics related to the metaverse and user-generated virtual worlds.
Obviously there is a shift talking place and the folks at Avatar Reality would like us to turn our gaze toward Blue Mars. We've covered Avatar Reality and Blue Mars on Bytemarks Cafe but most recently, they've announced that Blue Mars will soon become cloud based. What this means is that rather than downloading specific software and requiring a high performance PC, you will soon be able to access the Blue Mars environment from your favorite browser, whether on a PC or Mac. This feature was supposed to become available this summer but the date has shifted to the end of 2010. What is hopeful is that Au was brought on to chronicle the process. Coincidentally, we will have Henk Rogers (owner of Avatar Reality) and Mark Loughridge (CEO of Aloha Island Software) on Bytemarks Cafe this coming Wed. 9/15 to talk about the video game industry in Hawaii. We will focus on the general topic of computer and video games as reported by the Entertainment Software Association, but if you were to call and ask about Blue Mars we would certainly welcome it.