Avatars on the move

In earlier posts, I wrote about Metacrusher, a challenging project to web all these different virtual worlds together. Another huge step into the direction of virtual world open-crossings is the announcement of Second Life to open up its platform for third parties.

Second Life intentions to make its code open-source are driven by a survival strategy as more and more other big players of the “conventional” web look for a way into the 3D web scene. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and more are on the brink to release or enhance their 3D services to the mass market. That’s why Second Life may look for a chance to follow a similar model like Firefox, open up and enhance through third parties, become popular and stay at the top.

But this isn’t only a Second Life affair. IBM among others try to establish a 3D standard for interoperability, and it could be used to build / re-build 3D web sites working together and with the real world too.

Interestingly, the effects on avatars are neglected. How do you transfer your social network into an other environment? Or your special skills? Can you exchange your knowledge from here over there and what is with your funds? There is a huge potential for third service companies to jump right into this opportunity to offer complete new services.

Besides the economic effect of such 3D standards and interoperation, what does this mean to the value of avatars? Now, depending on your games, you as a player act through many different avatars. Which one will be used to wander through the worlds? Or can you take all of them as a group and control them as† a group? Like above, there are incredibly many options and open questions about the avatars on the move.

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