Logitech's 3DConnexion lets 'Second Life' users mouse around

Last year, Linden Lab's virtual world took its code open-source; now, a hardware manufacturer has used that to make its mice compatible with Second Life.

3DConnexion's SpaceNavigator mouse. CNET Networks

It might not be a Wiimote, but it's still got that whole "immersive" thing going on.

Linden Lab, publisher of virtual world Second Life, announced Thursday that its members can use some officially-sanctioned new toys to navigate the metaverse. Logitech's 3DConnexion line of 3D mice can now navigate through Second Life, as a result of Linden Lab's decision to make its code open-source last year.

Second Life members can now use 3DConnexion's SpaceNavigator ($59, or $99 for a premium edition), SpaceExplorer ($299), and SpacePilot ($399) mice to control their avatars, fly, and build objects in-world. They can, of course, also perform more mundane two-dimensional functions, like tweak settings and preferences.

Both Mac and Windows operating systems will be able to handle the 3D mice, and according to Logitech representatives, Linux users should be able to use them, too.

The devices, the first to be made available to Second Life through a partnership with Linden Lab, are not yet compatible with other virtual worlds and 3D multiplayer games like There.com or World of Warcraft. The Logitech representatives, however, said that they will explore other gaming and virtual world opportunities after using Second Life as a first step.

Currently, the SpaceNavigator and its pricier brethren are used for design and modeling software as well as 3D applications like Google Earth.

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