LifeStone control in Second Life: Working from the Inside Out

First off, let it be known that I have drank the perverbial Kool-Aid that is Second Life. Please send all of your L$ to "qDot Bunnyhug" (or at least IM me and say hi. It's lonely!)

Anyways, thanks to the instant rabid addiction interesting concept of the game, I've spent more of the last 24 hours than I really want to admit reading up on all of the blogs, wikis, forums, and anything else I could get my hands on about the game.

To give an incredibly poor explanation, Second Life is like IRC with graphics. There's no real goal or game to it, you can simply fly around and talk to people. You can also buy land, buy objects, build houses, start businesses, and make money (both in game, and real, since in game dollars can be translated into real cash). The game has a state-based scripting language known as LSL that allows you to add behaviors to any object you like, including XML-RPC requests.

Through XML-RPC calls, you can retrieve info about things happening in the game, and do whatever you like with that info on the outside world. You can also send information into the game in order to create and alter events.

Thanks to the inguinuity of the user base, The Lifestone (mentioned in the previous post) is now being harnessed as an alternative control method for in-game events. A client running outside of the SL process will pick up biofeedback information from the Lifestone and relay it into the game to cause events, such as changing the luminesence of the character based on pulse rate. There is an SL forum post by the client authors about the proposed uses for the client, but you'll need a SL account to actually read it.

Now, this isn't a full XML-RPC implementation. It's inbound ONLY. You can't create outbound requests due to the game authors not wanting to cause security/flooding issues for outside sites. This has been a topic of much debate. Also, you can only check for information once every 3 seconds (due to a 3 second relay in the RPC response function), so there's not gonna be a lot of high resolution, real-time control happening, either inward or outward. However, it's still a damn neat toy to play with, esp. with an entry fee of $9.

If you're wondering if you're thinking what we're thinking about using this, be assured that you are, and we're doing our damnest to learning the scripting system ASAP. :)