Monday, January 14, 2013

Who Will Determine the Future of Virtual Worlds?

How Marketers See Virtual Worlds
How Marketers See Virtual Worlds
There was a lot of discussion last week about the past, present and future of virtual worlds. Here are a handful of quotes from blog posts, comment sections and social networks to show the diversity of perspective and opinion:
The metaverse is about having “fun.” It is a playground – pure and simple. And this is how it should have been marketed from the get-go. Elif Ayiter
Can someone show me a use case for Cloud Party that isn't already filled by SL and IMVU???? Brenda Archer
Virtual reality is when virtual worlds will thrive, IMO. Occulus Rift is a good start. Anyone read Otherland? If it ever reaches that stage there will be more people in virtual worlds than in the real world. Theodore DuCasse
My over-arching point really is that (typical) Internet consumers will reach for the things that are easy and hassle free to operate, and still offer powerful social connectivity. Tim Stewart
I think that sadly, the number one place we could have looked to save Second Life was in the seemingly forgotten game tools from a year ago. If LL decided to buckle down and create game development tools that allowed startups and small companies to essentially create MMORPGs inside Second Life, that could have a tremendous impact. caliginousrival 
Ultimately the question echoes your realization; is the Metaverse really meant to be just worlds like Second Life and Opensim, or can we broaden our horizons and create a system that can grow and evolve to find new kinds of worlds? Personally I believe it's the latter and am doing what I can to help create it. Alan Tupper
After a week of pretty focused thought on the topic, I think it comes down to what Alan Tupper expressed in the quote above. The future of virtual worlds is going to be determined by those who are creating them in the present: The people who are developing and operating the platforms; and the user communities who are pioneering new ways to actualize the platforms' potential and demonstrating their value.

7 comments:

Burhop said...

Darn, I was hoping you answered the question :-)

Botgirl Questi said...

Mark: Oh. you wanted names? I think on of them is you. :)

Paul Jerry said...

And let's not forget mobile. In most use scenarios for tech there is the end user demand that it be available anywhere. Virtual worlds don't lend themselves well to a mobile access, Lumiya and Pocket Metaverse aside.

michelehyacinth said...

Nods...agreed, @Paul Jerry. I'm not typically one to get caught up in the technology end of things. I'm not smart enough to understand all of that, I fully admit. What I do get is the exploding growth-demand for mobile. When the entire world is increasingly being molded into an anywhere-anytime-any device model, shouldn't virtual worlds as well? Can they really afford to be oblivious to these realities? Seems to me that form and function need to work hand in hand with intent and vision. Apple changed the world because it was easy enough for little kids to know how to use. Was there a more grand intent behind it than that? Probably, but that was definitely part of it. Fast, Easy, Fun really was not far off the mark and can also partner with impactful should there arise a vision for making an impact.

Botgirl Questi said...

I love mobile apps and often choose to use them even when I have much more powerful PC alternatives. Although mobile apps have a fraction of the features found in PC alternatives, each does a few things really well with ease and simplicity. I always have a mobile device in my pocket. There's no boot up time. I can be in an app within a few seconds of having a need or desire that can be served, no matter where I am.

I've played around with some mobile MMOs that are really well done. Great graphics. Decent navigation. The technology is there to create killer mobile virtual world applications. It's just a matter of someone putting in the time and money to build them.

Creag said...

Paul, I suspect that one of the mobile metaverse scenarios we'll see in the near term will involve overlays on reality using a HUD-enhancement visor system. Interacting with digital artifacts of the world around us and with artifacts invented purely for the digital medium will be part of things as the various digital devices continue to grow together and more of the world develops more elaborate digital presence. Or so I'm guessing.

Burhop said...

Botgirl: If I get to determine the Future of Virtual Worlds, there is going to be better games and more practical 3D design software.

I have enough shoes.