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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Virtual Worlds Invade Your Life

Neal Stephenson described a world where people could "jack in", Matrix-like, to a virtual representation of the real world: the metaverse.

It was a revolutionary -- and strangely weird -- idea back in 1992. Today, we're inching ever closer to that reality.

Google just launched Lively, a 3D virtual environment that enables people to build rooms and representations of themselves, which they can use to chat with other people. These environments have become more popular in the last few years -- whether through online gaming or Second Life. How popular? Even Darryl Macdonald, one of the original members of the group RUN DMC, just launched his own virtual environment.

But not everyone is sold on the idea that Google, which prides itself on simplistic design and functionality, should be entering into this realm. The glitchy nature of real-time simulations does seem to fly in the face of Google's main mission: be easy and work well.

And yet…

Let's get back to the metaverse, though. If this "representation" is going become more real -- which means people can move from one place to the next regardless of the company running it -- then company's have to figure out how open up their borders. So far that hasn't happened.Actually that hadn't happened until yesterday when IBM and partner Second Life owner Linden Labs demonstrated just that ability.


By Brad at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

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