Virtual Worlds in Context
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Since the days of the now fabled 'Adventure' virtual worlds have long been a staple of online life. The most recent generation, 3D environments, includes games such as World of Warcraft and discussion rooms such as Second Life. These environments share some of the attributes and many of the limitations of their predecessors. Can the environment serve a significantly large number of people at the same time? Can individuals migrate their characters from one environment to the next? Who makes the rules in such environments? In this talk it is proposed that the principles that govern the World Wide Web would well serve the world of 3D environments. By distributing the load - and the ownership - using a ccommon client that accesses worlds from a large number of interoperable open source servers, the problems of scale and ownership could be addressed while preserving the best of the 3D environment: a place to visualize different realities, to get together to talk about them, to interact, and maybe to kill a few monsters. Notes.