Virtual Worlds

by francine Hardaway on June 28, 2007

There’s a shift happening on the Internet right now, and it’s to 3D technology and virtual worlds. Information, education, business and entertainment will all be affected. The panel I’m watching now consists of Doppelganger, a platform for creating a dense, virtual urban experience, Kaneva, a 3D game with a modern day theme; Meez, the tool with which I made my famous Facebook avatar; and The Multiverse. Here the business models involve selling virtual items or sponsor integration, and even platform licensing, rather than out and out advertising.

Cool things about Virtual worlds:
Kaneva has the entire YouTube library integrated into its virtual world.
Doppelganger lets you choreograph the dance moves of your avatar.
Meez allows you to create and export an avatar. Avatar is Sanskrit for appearance of God on earth!
Multiverse is a distributed network for developers of virtual worlds. With it, you can make your own world. You can start your own game company. It’s all open source until you start charging consumers, and then it’s a revenue share. James Cameron’s on their Board of Advisors, and 11,000 development teams have registered to use its technology. It’s a tools business.

Not so cool things about these companies:
You can’t use Kaneva on a Mac.
You have to download software to use Doppelganger.
Meez exports your avatar as an animated .GIf, and to post it on your social network you have to change it to a .Jpg or something else that’s acceptable.
The Multiverse defers its revenue.

The big question here is who is in competition with whom. I really like the idea of exporting your avatar from place to place.

Of course the elephant in the room here is Second Life, and everyone asserts that they are going to be user-friendly as opposed to SL. Meaning an average kid can get on and create. Or even an average adult.

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