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|Brave New Worlds
A Never Ending Mission
In our long mission we have touched down on many worlds and fraternized with all different sorts of natives. You might be wondering, what more could there be? New virtual worlds are appearing on the Internet all the time. It seems as though everyone has a unique approach to building this next form of Cyberspace. You could see it as an "ecosystem of worlds" where a kind of Darwinian natural selection will determine the types of worlds we will inhabit in the future. What makes a world fit for survival, the number of people who visit it, or the goods sold there? No-one seems to know the answer to this question just yet. I take up the question of what makes a world worth revisiting in the chapter called Build Your Own World, Design Your Own Avatar later in this book. In this chapter we will take a look at a dozen or so new worlds which had not been out there long enough (at least when this chapter was written) to develop a large community of regular users. We will also look at 'near-avatar worlds' which include worlds that you can only visit alone.
Your Guide to Brave New Worlds
Worlds using VRML
- Sony's Community Place Browser
- Pueblo: Gateway to the MUD-verse
- IDS's V-Realm Multi-user Browser
- SenseMedia's The Sprawl: Pan Pacific Worlds
- Intel's IDMOO Experiments
Worlds of Many Types
- Microsoft V-Chat: Frantic Antics
- NTT's InterSpace: Your Face in Cyberspace!
- La Deuxieme Monde
- Near-Avatar Worlds
- Worlds that Were
- Other Worlds on the Horizon
- Digi's Diary: the Really Big App
With these brave new worlds appearing all the time, you could make a career of just exploring them. In fact, I have received emails from people who start out by introducing themselves "hi, I am so-and-so in this world and such-and-such in this world and whozit in this other world.." giving a whole new meaning to the term multiple personality. I don't know how these brave new citizens can exist as different personas many worlds and still keep track of it all!
So where do these worlds all come from? Most of them are built by companies. Some world providers are large, like Microsoft, Intel and NTT, and others are small, hopeful start-ups like Electric Communities and Atomic3D. Soon, tools from these and other companies will allow regular Internet users to build their own homeworlds to go along with their home pages. When this happens, there will be far too many worlds to visit or to write about in one book!
So let us now embark on our "multi year mission to explore brave new worlds". Of course one "Internet year" goes by in an instant, so don't panic about being lost out in deep digital space forever! There is a lot of exciting terra virtual out there, so let's get started.