I received the 5 things chain from bonaria. I guess “un gioco e’ bello quando dura poco” (a game is fun if it does not last forever), so I think I better pass a different chain.
Mucio started a chain to spread the “M’illumino di meno” campaign of Caterpillar. The “M’illumino di meno” campaign declared February 26th 2007 as “Energy saving day” (giornata del risparmio energetico). The goal is twofold: become more aware of how much energy we daily use and start with simple (and less simple) acts to reduce our energy consumption. Some simple ideas are in the text of the song/jingle of the campaign. You can download or listen the song from caterueb and read the text (in Italian) at the end of this post.
Mucio didn’t pass the chain to me, but this is a different chain, it is a chain you can pass without waiting for someone to pass it to you or, if you prefer, consider that this post is passing the chain to Everybody. So, don’t wait! Pass it to your friends, now! And there is no limit on the number of friends you pass it to as well. 5? Fine. 9? Good. 15? Better. 100? Perfect!
For people who does not understand Italian, I’d like to mention as well the Climate Change Game made by the BBC that I found yesterday via the glorious WorldChanging. The Climate Change is a Flash game where you are president of the European Nations and you must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office.
Ah yes, the last and most important part. I pass this chain to:
bonaria (because she passed me the 5 things one I didn’t pass)
marcella (she is not blogging but flickring so the challenge is to pass the chain via an artistic photo about energy consumption)
marina (because of interesting discussions on her blog)
Just yesterday I was watching the YouTube video in which Ethan Zuckerman argues with Charles Nesson about Second Life. Charles Nesson is William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and he started an Harvard course inside Second Life. Ethan contested the fact that Charles in this way is creating “Intellectual value” that is locked in a proprietary platform where he is not able to get it back, and that with his reputation is giving a lot of visibility to Second Life in exchange for nothing and urged Charles to embrace open source alternatives, such as OpenCroquet.
At the end of the video Charles committed sepukku and this is a pity because this was not needed … it is in fact news of today that Second Life released its source code under a GPL licence, hence making it Free Software. The title of the post on Second Life’s blog announcing the huge news is particularly appropriated as well “Embracing the Inevitable“.
So now we have this great Second Life world that is Free (as in Freedom), we will soon have Ryzom Free, we now just wait for World of WarCraft to not wait until they are desperate to embrace the inevitable, and Free their source code: the inevitable is that PlaneShift or some other MMORPG already released under GPL will make World of WarCraft desperate. “May you live in interesting times”, well, are we not? Is there anyone out there able to forecast what will happen in 1 or 5 years of Second Life now that its code is liberated? I doubt it. We live in really interesting times.
UPDATE: thanks to a comment by Francesco, I now know that Ryzom.org offer to buy the source code of Ryzom and make it free was not accepted since there were bigger monetary offers. I guess they will have to embrace the inevitable as well, sooner or later. Sooner would have been better for everyone.
UPDATE #2: I blogged too quickly and too enthusiastically the news. The points made by Ethan in his post are totally correct: LindenLab just released the code of the client (in some sense hoping to outsource the development to the Free Software community, while they maintain the code of the server absolutely proprietary and hence I cannot run my SL universe (as Francesco notes as well in the comments). Anyway I still think it is a positive news. For example now that the client code is available it would be easier to start from scratch a compatible server on SourceForge (or am I wrong again?), anyway go read the points made by Ethan because they are much deeper and more interesting than mine!
One of the big advantages of using GNU/Linux is that most of the computer games don’t run on it and, as a consequence, I don’t have the risk of trying one, become addicted and hence even less productive (whatever productive means). However I somehow feel isolated from conversations and frontier experiences for not being able to try World of Warcraft or SecondLife. I once tried to find some Free Software alternatives and downloaded PlaneShift, a very cool Free Software MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) that runs also under GNU/Linux, but what happened is that I played until 6 in the morning and the following day I was sooo sleepy!
Another game that might soon become Free is Ryzom. “Ryzom is an innovative MMORPG, which has been developed since the year 2000 by the independent studio, Nevrax. For the past two years Ryzom has been marketed and sold to gamers, developing a fiercly loyal fanbase. Unfortunately, due to market conditions and other unforseen cirucumstances, a request to begin bankruptcy proceedings has been filed at the commerce tribunal.”
The Free Ryzom Campaign is soliciting donations in order to “help us purchase the source code, artwork and other game data associated with Ryzom, so we can breathe new life into it as an open, democratically run player project”.
It is great to read that the Free Software Foundation announced that it will officially support the Free Ryzom Campaign with a pledge of $60,000. Lack of games is often mentioned as one of the main reasons for people not to switching to GNU/Linux.
And Ryzom seems incredibly cool too (see the YouTube video), so who will need the non-free software World of Warcraft or SecondLife anymore?!?