A banner above a podium invites attendees to “please take a seat” as they trickle into the September 2013 OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC).
With its black-tiled floor and green and blue décor, the conference space recalls the modern, tech-inspired campuses of Google or Microsoft. A panel of six industry professionals and academics sit on stage preparing to speak. Some fidget, flicking their hair back and tapping their feet.
After introductory remarks, informatics professor Crista Lopes from UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences takes the podium. Today, however, she’s going by the pseudonym Diva Canto. She looks different, too: Her brunette hair has been traded for an elaborate, fiery red-orange updo.
Lopes lectures on OpenSimulator, an open-source platform that allows users to run virtual-world Second Life environments on their own servers. She includes statistics like: OpenSimulator is a project with 124 contributors representing over 400,000 lines of code, and it took an estimated 107 years of individual effort crammed into 6 years of communal work to develop the platform. Read more here.