‘SEATTLE — Philip Rosedale wants to build the Metaverse, the virtual reality experience depicted in the Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash so many years ago. His first-generation attempt to do so was Second Life, the virtual world created by his former company Linden Lab…’
This article in Quartz sparked my interest because I actually tried Second Life, twice. The first time was some years ago when it was at the peak of its ‘buzz’. The second time was only last year. Both times were a disappointment, but perhaps that’s because I was evaluating the experience from the viewpoint of a gamer. To me, the Second Life graphics were ugly and clunky, the movement was clunky, the ‘crafting’ was ‘too hard’, and the whole thing just felt second best instead of immersive. But I did like the idea behind the experience – i.e. to be able to do in a virtual world everything you could do in the real one [shades of Innerscape, anyone?].
Sadly, I suspect Rosedale’s implementation of a metaverse will be just as clunky as the implementation of Second Life. But again, that’s not to say that someone won’t get it right.
Will that be within the next 20 years?
Honestly, I don’t think so. Technology takes leaps and bounds, and breaks out in unexpected areas – think mobile phone vs computer – but there is a world of difference between being able to produce an alpha grade prototype and creating the kind of technology that is as commonplace as the light switch. Yet that is what we will need if we are to stitch together the whole digital world into a metaverse.
Negatives aside, however, good on Rosedale for thinking big. You can find the complete Quartz article here: