As many people who pop along here will know back in 2006 (and even before that) I have been somewhat passionate in explaining and sharing what can be done with things like game technology, virtual worlds etc to help with human communication, that includes entertainment (which is often regarded as not a serious business), office type business, education, industrial digital twins the list goes on. Metaverse is a handy word to bundle all this together and whilst not tightly defined I think many of us know what we mean. This month I wrote a piece for the BCS which is available to read here and they have nicely highlighted the phrase ““Travelling and actual teleportation aside, do you think that we should be able to find better ways to feel we are with people and to have shared experiences?” Whatever you think the Metaverse is evolving to, just consider if the way you are doing things now is the best it could possibly be given the tech available. Things evolve and move, not always replacing everything behind them but adding.
Having sad that, it is worth reminding everyone that the original work in 2006 in Second Life was mostly about pulling data from other sources into the environment, and doing things with it, this eventually led to building Wimbledon’s 2006 course with the ball trajectory from Hawkeye rendered there.
There is an ongoing discussions is about interoperability of Metaverse or virtual world platforms. These range from is it desirable to have objects from world x appear in world y and then often hit the barrier of platform x has a completely different rendering engine to platform y. The former is a style and even a business question, why does an environment of any type exist, real, virtual, augmented, projected, whatever. This then leads to the technical wars around content being “in” a development or build environment. Importing of meshes, textures, animation rigs etc is one way to look at Metaverse evolution but I think it is also worth considering the potential for things like remote rendering, if the unifying standard for content sharing was actually containers, of potentially any size or shape and level of detail, the anything from environment x could appear in environment y and even interact with it to vary degrees depending on permissions or needs. My Nvidia RTX ray traced shiny car could appear in the most basic of 3d environments as I am rendering the car my end, and the virtual world is processing a container and stream. This is after all what we do when we video chat, each of our cameras is doing some work and being hosted by a basic integration layer. Yes I know 3d and collisions and physics and and etc. all make it more complex but it is worth considering that other ways of working can exist to the build and compile we are used to from games. Also, from what I remember of Snowcrash avatars are rendered by the person’s own device, those with worse computing power have more basic avatars in world? Also, we already did some of this back n 06/07 it just takes a different way of thinking.
Talking to thinking, literally, I was invited to join the Games at Work dot Biz podcast again and I was more than happy to give a shout out to a book by Prof Richard Bartle on virtual worlds and our god like powers over them. Checkout the podcast and links are here and on any player you have, give it a rating to help the guys too please.