The Coming Metaverse

CETPA has their new Spring issue of the Databus magazine out. I have an article in this issue on virtual worlds:

The Coming Metaverse, PDF of entire Databus issue

For anyone who has followed this blog, this article does not cover any new ground. I am basically assessing where the industry is today, where it might go tomorrow, and what trends will affect the development of a global metaverse into the future.

Here’s a quote from the article:

“Until recently there was no serious competition for Second Life. Over these same six months there have been many announcements of coming new virtual world platforms from other companies wanting to enter this space; Sun Microsystems’s Darkstar/Wonderland, Open Croquet, Qwaq, Open Sim, Multiverse, and the rumored Google virtual world project. The competition between these new platforms is sure to accelerate and enhance the developments of these technologies.

The one thing that sets these new platforms apart from Second Life is their reliance on open standards. Most of these new players are betting on standard 3D file formats and industry standard applications for asset creation (e.g.: Maya, Bryce, Google SketchUp and others) instead of integrated basic 3D tools in the client software. The critical difference here is that objects and content created in one of these new platforms will likely be portable to other platforms using the open 3D standards. Second Life uses a proprietary object format and scripting language for their asset creation. For the time being, what’s made in Second Life stays in Second Life.”

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