Dec 16, 2016

The Poseidon Aquarium

Anything else is just a fish-tank in #SecondLife


Poseidon Aquarium - Main Image



Price: 400 L$

Permissions: Copy | No Mod | No Trans


Available Here:



Full Featured Aquarium at a Reasonable Price


I’d like to formally introduce you to one of the most sophisticated aquariums in Second Life. It looks like any ordinary fish-tank, but that’s the point. The Poseidon Aquarium is based off of a real life aquarium tank, right down to the most trivial of details.


This aquarium is partially made in mesh, with the back filter being entirely custom made with materials and sound (you know, that familiar sound an aquarium makes?)


Poseidon Aquarium - Materials & MeshThe surface water is animated with a subtle ripple, while even the gravel was lovingly custom made in mesh and textured with the highest quality. But we didn’t stop there…


Click the hood of the unit and you’ll be presented with a full menu of options, from pre-loaded backgrounds to a large selection of built-in gravel colors.


And yet, we weren’t finished.


Is the background not to your liking? We’ve even included the ability to use your own by selecting [Custom] from the menu, whereby you can insert the UUID of whatever background you want to have for your aquarium.


With a high attention to details, we’ve even made the light a working option with that all familiar “click” when you hit the switch. But we didn’t simply make a light that turns on and off (because that would be too easy). No, we went one further and made sure that the light in the Poseidon Aquarium actually fades the tank to dark and light when activated.


Poseidon Aquarium - Subtle CausticsOver the gravel, you may also notice built in animation for light rippling around (because that’s how light works with water) and this should give you an idea about just how focused we were in creating this aquarium.


And yet, there’s still more.


Fancy feeding those fish in your new fish tank? We’ve included that option built into the menu as an effect. Clicking the button will randomly drop fish food into the tank while you watch the flakes randomly drift into the water.


Of course, we didn’t stop there. No, when we set out to build this aquarium, our goal was simply to create something that addressed all the issues we thought all of the competition were lacking at the time.


Sure, you can spend over 1,400 L$ on a pre-made aquarium but that seems a little high priced for something you really can’t customize. Likewise, you can also spend 50L$ on other fish-tanks as well, but they aren’t as feature packed as the Poseidon Aquarium. Isn’t the fun of owning an aquarium making it your own by customizing it? From choosing the fish, to how you decorate your aquarium, we found all the other options lacking.


Even when it came down to the stand that the aquarium sits on, we custom designed it to be a perfect compliment to your Poseidon Aquarium with built in texture changer for four wood types (it’s not a flat texture like most aquariums in SL).


Poseidon Aquarium - Texture Change Stand (512)

With an easy to use interface built into the side of the stand, you can easily identify what color you’re choosing in a visual manner. With a single click, it’ll change over.


Simple as that.


And yet, we still continued to add attention to detail. For instance, the front of the tank itself has a temperature strip attached for authenticity.


The volume of the ambient sound (filter and water) can also be changed from the main menu, and even muted if you so desire.



  • 9 Built-In Backgrounds + Custom Option
  • 12 Built-in Gravel Types
  • Working Light & Ambient Sound
  • Partial Mesh
  • Volume Control
  • Fish Food Animation
  • Texture Change Stand
  • Endless combinations!


Poseidon Aquarium - DetailAbout the only thing the Poseidon Aquarium doesn’t come with are the fish and decorations. It is at this point you’re probably scratching your head and asking “Why would the aquarium that has everything not have fish and decorations?”


Well the answer is simple.


We really did think about this while it was being made, and we asked ourselves what one of the best things about owning an aquarium was? The answer is that you own an aquarium, but every aquarium is different… which is to say, aquarium owners are able to decorate it any way they want, put whatever fish they want into the tank and really make it theirs.


Maybe you want to own a Super Mario Brothers themed aquarium?



SMB Fish Tank


It’s completely doable with the Poseidon Aquarium set because we made it customizable and left the fish and decorations to you. We want to give our customers the freedom of expression while providing the most advanced aquarium that we can in the process.


Set the gravel color, use a Custom background, and make up some SMB props for your tank (which should take maybe twenty minutes if you’re in a rush). Add a few fish to your tank and viola!


Want to go into business making aquarium props for the Poseidon Aquarium set? Go right ahead! We’ll probably be releasing some sets of our own over time, but we’re more than happy if you did as well.


How about a 3D background in Mesh?



Aquarium 3D Background



Sure, why not… right?


They sky is the limit with the Poseidon Aquarium, and we look forward to seeing how you have made it your own.



What Kind of Fish Do You Own?


You’re probably wondering about this, and you have every right to. After all, most aquariums on marketplace that come with “fish” are really just a fish texture on a prim spinning in a circle or keyframe animated (or even a particle emitter). Of the sculpted and mesh fish out there, most will tell you that they swim in Linden Water. So what are you to do?


Believe it or not, we’re big fans of the *SnoWStylZ* brand of fish for the Poseidon Aquarium. They are fully sculpted, low impact, and scripted to move around like… well… fish. Chrom Snook has done a wonderful job with these (and the many other types of) fish offered via the SnoWStylZ store on Marketplace.


For a mere 80 L$, you can fill your tank with excellent looking fish.


SnoWStylZ Store:







Where Do I Find Those Books?


Another excellent question. All of the books (and more) shown in the product images on the shelf are available from our store:


The Universal Book Prop 



Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter C_001Each comes with a held version and a shelf prop included, so you can use it on the go and have a copy sitting on your shelves at home.


As of this writing, we have 22 classic books available for purchase (50L$) and they are all functional props – meaning that clicking on them will allow you to rad the book online, download an epub version, and even an audiobook version if it is available.


This fully functional and highly customizable aquarium set is used in my own home in Yarnia, which is where the product pictures are taken.




Additional Details


Land Impact


Aquarium: 12
Stand: 6
Fish Food: 1


* The Poseidon Aquarium is (unfortunately) not compatible with the *SnoWStylZ* Fish feeding system, as we actually have no idea how it is implemented to talk to the fish from the creator. This is easily remedied (however) by setting your SnoWStylZ fish to “Holiday” mode so you don’t have to feed them. Maybe in the future (if Chrom Snook would allow) we can make our Aquarium Feeding effect actually feed their fish properly. This is on our list of things to look into proper in the first quarter of 2017.




Dec 12, 2016

Revenge of the Prosumer

Anything you can do, we can do better…






Ah, where to begin on this one?


It would seem that companies such as Nintendo haven’t learned how to deal with the prosumer culture in the post-millennium age. Of course there is the obligatory DMCA for things like Another Metroid 2 Remake (AM2R) which was/is a fan made recreation of Metroid 2 with luscious graphics (updated to a 16 bit feel), but more importantly (for this post) I’d like to touch on Nintendo’s latest prosumer blunder:


The NES Classic Edition.


A little back-story is in order here.


So essentially, Nintendo had this bright idea to make a mini version of their classic NES system pre-loaded with 20 NES games. This seemed like a great idea for nostalgia collectors the world over, except there are a few problems if you’re keen to notice.


  1. It’s essentially a customized emulator on hardware
  2. It only offers 30 games to play
  3. Nintendo completely screwed up the supply chain


What ended up happening is that Nintendo simply didn’t make the supply of these NES Classic systems high enough for the demand, and in fact had restricted the supply so much that they ended up sold out before they even went on sale to the public. Whether this is because of scalpers buying the entire supply of a store, or the store employees themselves buying them up before they went on sale, what we can say is that as a result of this extremely limited supply, the NES Classic is now showing up on eBay being resold for as much as a few hundred dollars per unit.



If we haven’t learned anything from this situation (or prior situations), then as a company you’ll just sit there with a smug smile thinking you control the entire supply and demand process, and that the peasants will take whatever you give them.


Which, we should all know is patently untrue these days.


The consumer actually has more choices than whatever Nintendo is willing to offer when it comes to this, and it is Nintendo themselves who created the situation by which the consumers would opt for those alternatives instead of paying Nintendo for a coveted NES Classic, or paying an arm and a leg on eBay for one on auction.


This is, after all, the age of the prosumer (as I’ve outlined before); Which is to say that when a company who owns intellectual property doesn’t offer what the consumers want to buy, those consumers will now go ahead and make something better themselves and ignore the company.


Case in point – Another Metroid 2 Remake and Pokemon Uranium.


A company such as Nintendo, in their archaic thinking, simply sends their lawyers out with a DMCA storm and threats of lawsuits to take down the content and kill the projects. Of course, these fan-made games comply and take down the direct links to the files being hosted. The lawyers at Nintendo pat themselves on the back and move on, thinking they’ve killed the Hydra.


Of course, we should all know better than that.


This is the Internet. So long as somebody, somewhere, has a copy of the installation and people want access to it, then that access will be made available all across the world in hundreds (or even thousands and millions) of locations and methods.


In effect, the people of the world will simply mirror the files all around the world, or they will put them up on Bittorrent sites for peer-to-peer sharing.


Companies like Nintendo are the sort that believe cutting off a single head of a Hydra is enough to have killed it, when in fact the Hydra simply grew thousands of heads and continued on whether they liked it or not.


This is historically known as “The Streisand Effect”, named after an incident where a photographer took pictures of Barbara Streisand’s house and put them online. Barbara Streisand promptly tried to file a cease and desist (DMCA) to get those pictures removed from the Internet, which the photographer complied with but then the entire Internet made the pictures available in thousands and millions of locations around the world as mirrors.




Barbara Streisand’s Estate in Malibu, California



The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware something is being kept from them, their motivation to access and spread the information is increased.


It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently drew further public attention to it. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters to suppress numbers, files, and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.



You would think that nearly 15 years later, companies would already know this and try to avoid the consequences. But alas, they continue making the same, tired, mistakes.



For example:




Another Metroid 2 Remake






Pokemon Uranium


Obvious Disclaimer is Obvious: Blah blah, not condoning piracy. Downloading these are at your own risk. Nintendo reserves the right to kick in your door and force feed you 30 year old Nintendo Cereal while holding your eyes open like in A Clockwork Orange to make you watch the Super Mario Bros Super Show on endless repeat… later beating every coin from the Mushroom Kingdom out of your mooching ass. Links listed here purely for educational purposes…


Once again, the Prosumer wins, and Nintendo spends a stupid amount of time and money trying to shut down something while only throwing fuel on the fire.


Let’s make something clear:


In the age of the prosumer, it is completely pointless to try and stop the proliferation of something. There is supply and demand – and if the companies which own these intellectual properties are not meeting that demand, then the consumers who want such things will meet the demand themselves. The prosumer isn’t going to bother asking Nintendo for permission to do something, either (let alone any other company). They are just going to do it with or without you.


I know, it sucks ass right? If you’re a company with IP, you’re likely losing sleep over all of this and slamming your fist on the table in board meetings trying to figure out how to stop this proliferation of unauthorized media.


The sooner you come to grips with the realization that you cannot control the entirety of your IP, but with some common sense, you can help guide the direction of it and reward good behavior, the easier this is going to go in the long run.


If you make any attempt to stop the proliferation of your Intellectual Property in a hyper-connected world, you will more than likely fail miserably. Of course, you also have to come to grips with the reality that “good behavior” is entirely redefined in the modern age.


The only thing you can do is see the demand and meet it with a superior product. Barring that, you need to have a plan in place which collaborates with the prosumers to create those products. You may not exercise authoritarian control over your IP in this case, but at least you get to have some manner of say in what happens, giving hard limits to the prosumer you’re working with but ultimately letting them express their creative freedom.


So, back to the NES Classic and Nintendo’s blunder (once again).


As I’ve established, it’s essentially running an emulator… and it comes with 30 NES games built in.


That is Nintendo’s first mistake. Breaking the first rule of Prosumer culture is sure to do you in -


If you are appropriating something that the prosumer community already has had access to for many years, and trying to pass it off as your own, you had better bring something to the table which is superior than what the prosumers already have or else they will.


In this case, Nintendo thought appropriating an emulator and branding it for themselves was going to win them brownie points. This falls under the thinking “We can release an emulator but you can’t because we think it’s illegal”.


Which is a total farce at best, and sleazy corporate practice. Some jack-ass in a board room somewhere thought it was a brilliant idea to grab a free emulator, throw in a few games and repackage it for sale.


It would be a good idea if it wasn’t for the fact that much more powerful emulation options exist, in the same package, for less money, on pretty much every conceivable system known to mankind.


In the case of the NES Classic, there is the RetroPie Arcade. 



RetroPie Logo



Lesson 1: Don’t try to pass off an inferior emulator when better options exist from the people who originally made the emulators and hardware.


For instance, you can simply get a Raspberry Pi 3 kit and emulate pretty much everything from NES, SNES, N64, Atari, Arcade Games, Master System, Genesis, Playstation, XBox, Gamecube, and more all on the same system.



Game Over, Nintendo…



And of course, we (as prosumers) can simply 3D Print an NES Classic shell to house it all in. But then we can go one step further (because why not?) and 3D print little NES Cartridges that actually work in the Mini NES via NFC Tags.


This is something Nintendo should have thought of, honestly… because this version of the NES Mini that somebody simply built themselves is by far superior in every conceivable manner to the official NES Classic.


With the NFC Mini NES Cartridges, Nintendo could have had a product that could expand indefinitely, and opened the door to selling the entire NES library as additional games beyond the built in 30 games.


How would that work, you may ask? Let’s take a look…



And then a prosumer blows Nintendo out of the water… surprise, surprise.



Well, since the NFC is really just telling the system what game to load from a pre-installed list, and the NES Mini (Pi3 version) has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi access built in, it could just download the game if the person doesn’t have it already.


And when the owner doesn’t have the mini-cartridge to plug in, the owner just doesn’t get to play it (I guess). But then Nintendo would be back to square one by trying to limit the options through their own channel when the prosumer can build something better that allows people play literally every classic game that exists in a single package.


To be perfectly honest, the entire NES Library itself only takes up roughly 200 MB of storage (I just checked).


Let’s say the NES Mini had a built in storage capacity of 32GB, as these flash storage mediums are pretty cheap now at the 32 GB range (about $40 retail).


Then a fully functional NES Mini can hold every NES, SNES, N64, Master System, Genesis, etc game and probably have room to spare.


Here’s the breakdown -


The entire SNES library clocks in about 1.2GB, the entire NES library clocks in about 200MB (including Famicom Disk System games), and the entire N64 library clocks in at about 7.5GB total. You could easily throw in the entire line of Gameboy games (Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance) and still not hit the end of that storage.


So let’s say Nintendo put the entire NES through N64 library on an NES Mini… they would only be using about 10GB of that 32GB storage. Well, Nintendo can’t do this because the legal hoops they have to jump through due to all the third party publishers and their games would be ridiculous. But this highlights a major flaw in the way companies do things today concerning the usage of Intellectual Property – in that just because Nintendo can’t do it, doesn’t mean the Prosumer isn’t going to do it.


And in fact, they already have done it. Just because companies and IP owners can’t get their collective shit together and unify on the same page for the greater good doesn’t mean the prosumers aren’t going to skip them and do it without you.


So we have an NES Mini with a functional NFC reader, loaded with every game from multiple systems and built in emulators (plural) from multiple classic systems.


Well damn, son… the Prosumer kicked your ass.



Look at it like this:


Companies are like the overblown, clueless Villains and the Prosumer Culture is essentially One Punch Man. They will collectively kick your ass in a single blow, and not even be trying, while you will be throwing literally everything you’ve got at it. Just by getting into the fight, you’ve already lost and haven’t realize it yet.



Every company versus the Internet…



Your only hope is to work with them and not try to defeat them.


Rule #1: Work within the system


You may not have defined that system or the culture that resides in it, but you are ultimately subject to it whether you like it or not. The same holds true in general (The Internet) and billions of people worldwide. The times are changing, and we need to evolve to work within these new sets of rules or we will ultimately be our own undoing. (See also: Blockbuster Video)



Don’t be like Blockbuster Video…



And that’s the point of today’s post.


Nintendo (and really any company) should ask an all important question before they try to release a new product  based on their existing intellectual property, or file a DMCA notice, or incorporate some sort of DRM technology:


Is there a better option available than what we are about to do, and if so, can the consumer make it on their own? How can we work with them for the mutual benefit of everyone involved?


Then, of course, if the answer to that question is a resounding Yes, then the company should reach out to the community first and see about a collaboration to make that new thing with them.


Ironically, it is Nintendo themselves that already used this to their advantage in the creation of Super Mario Maker.






How in the hell Nintendo got it right and then promptly forgot everything they just learned is beyond me.


In the case of AM2R and Pokemon Uranium, Nintendo should have offered some sort of partnership, clearly denoting those games as Fan-made and not officially from Nintendo, but existing with the full blessing of Nintendo. The same would be true in the case of the ingenious NES Mini design… except that they could have reached out to enterprising prosumers online asking if anyone wanted to design a better version of what they were thinking about – ie: Nintendo explains the premise and what they would like it to do, and why… and then see if any prosumers (fans) can make it better. Then Nintendo would work with those fans to create the end-product that is far superior.


This is how a company should operate in the age of the prosumer culture. Because the prosumer culture is going to operate like this with or without you, and trying to cut off the head off the Hydra isn’t going to slay the beast, but instead just make it multiply.


In the Age of the Prosumer, you either have the most powerful ally in the world on your side (your biggest fans) to create amazing things, or you’re fighting the most powerful collective in the world (your biggest fans) and losing.


When in Rome, Nintendo… Do as the Romans do.


In case you were interested in the details of how the NES Mini was created, you can find those details here:




Dec 7, 2016

The Evolution of Virtual Worlds

A brief overview @ OSCC this Saturday


This Saturday @ 10am PST in Keynote 1
Open Simulator Community Conference





It can be said that I have a very excellent ability to see the writing on the wall and predict the trends before they happen when it comes to various things.


After all, I predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series this year (and how it would happen), I’ve predicted that real world locations would become sponsored locations for mobile gaming to entice players to visit (Pokemon GO), and even in a comprehensive report for Sears Holding Company that the future of retail is Zero Barrier (everything is tagged and automatically scanned just by walking out with it) which Amazon is now testing in live physical stores.


So you can imagine that I get asked the sixty-four thousand dollar question about the future of the Metaverse quite a lot…



SLIDE 01 - Questions



While I can't get into a comprehensive presentation or cover all the talking points in 20 minutes (because, let's face it... we've been at this for many years and still haven't hit all the bases yet), I've chosen to highlight a handful of trends that I think are important and will change the entire paradigm of interaction for the Metaverse.


I will, however, be on a later panel that same day (3pm PST) where I'm sure more will come up, and I'll be available via my booth at Expo 3 for a sit down discussion if you'd like.


I look forward to seeing you there!


#OpenSimulator #VirtualReality #SecondLife