The State of the Metaverse
So with a lot of State of the Union, and State of the Nation, and State of the State speeches the last week or so, how about a quick view at the state of the Metaverse?
Second Life has seen no real growth at all in the last calendar year. This according to their last quarterly report. IMVU seems to still be growing but not at the pace they were a year ago. Other promising 3DVWs like Twinity and Blue Mars are still barely populated, despite massive increases in real estate to explore.
Open Sim News
The past few months have seen a bit of new stuff in Open Sim. Version 0.7 was released, proving to be a major improvement. Open Sim will probably support mesh within days of SL’s support of mesh (whenever that happens). Some new branch projects are being developed, primarily to work on physics. Then there is the NASA education project that decided Open Sim was better than SL.
The push is on to get rid of clients that still run on version 1. Linden Lab is doing their part by blocking search on version 1 clients. Open Sim is doing their part by implementing the 2.0 client features like web on a prim. The Third Party Viewer community is doing their part by making 2.0 compatible viewers that have significantly more features than either version 1 or the official viewer. See this video demo for the latest Phoenix viewer.
Maybe the needs for online community interaction is decreasing as the physical economy rises back towards restoration, since more workers coming back into the physical workforce(and I’m not just thinking of military personnel) probably means more community interaction on the job(or at least more spare time on those workers’ hands). But also, like the internet being a popular option to interact and work with, online communities may very well become the next popular option. Of course though, it’s hard to say at this time whether online communities will surely replace the internet or become as interchangeable as the internet is nowadays to face to face interaction and work…for online communities are still somewhat new in development compared to multiplayer role playing games.
I wonder if the rise of the smartphone internet has diminished new entrants into PC-oriented “sit and play on this site” markets.
Interesting idea phillippos42. Smart phones allow you take Facebook wherever you go. Check in at a club or bar and your friends can show up or chat with you as you sit. Let’s not forget apps like foursquare and Google’s Buzz feature. Smart phones have taken the virtual world and ported it into the real world, for free.