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Wiimote on Second Life with DarwiinRemote

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Thanks to Gideon May of I-D Media, who introduced us all to the Wiimote as a controller for Second Life.

Gideon’s setup allows a Wiimote to control avatar movement with gestures and the d-pad, replacing the keyboard control for walking and the mouse for camera control.

I ran out this evening and picked up a used Wiimote from the local game store, which proved almost as difficult as buying the actual Wii – as many places were sold out of both. I lucked up when I found a used controller for sale at the mall.

I rushed back home, and grabbed a copy of DarwiinRemote, a graphical application for the Mac which takes care of connecting to the Wiimote and providing configuration of the buttons and motion sensing. You can use DarwiinRemote to control your avatar in Second Life, and just about anything else – as it acts as a mouse, and can map buttons to keyboard shortcuts.

In this case, I used the D-pad to control walking, and the gesture input to control the mouse. The most practical way to use this without further configuration (which I am exploring tonight,) is to put your avatar into Mouselook mode and fly about with a thumb on the d-pad. Mapping some of the other buttons to movement keys will likely make this less cumbersome, but as-is it works *very* well, and it is really a lot of fun.

Visit the cool folks at WiiLi.org for your Linux or Windows drivers, as they have all manners of resources for your platform of choice. I assume, although I have not tested, that you can accomplish this feat on Windows or Linux with the appropriate software.

Give me a shout if you have any more questions about this, I have a real interest in interfaces, and look forward to seeing more cool stuff from Gideon and his colleagues as they continue to integrate the device. With their focus on integrating the controller to SL, most of the kludginess of using a generic interface will go away. The possibilities, really, are endless!

You can check out their website here: http://www.idmedia.com

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