I just read this - it's a couple weeks stale.
So, the US Patent office allows *another* stinker: Worlds.com apparently now has the patent for "a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system." - as well as other patents. Basically, they appear to be laying claim on all virtual worlds. Kind of the same way Blackboard was awarded the patent for what essentially is "online learning" and started suing people.
So, Worlds.com is now suing NCSoft, makers of City of Heroes, Lineage II, and other popular MMOGs. Toss aside, for a minute, the fact that the G in MMOG stands for "game" and virtual worlds have always been traditionally "not necessarily a game", there's some pretty obvious previous examples of 3-D virtual worlds with avatars that existed before Worlds.com.
Oh, sorry, perhaps the litigation-crybabies at Worlds.com need that spelled out in big letters:
I just read this - it's a couple weeks stale.
1. More than one virtual world in Beta now: vaporware and/or go-nowhere-ware.
Metaplace is moving forward in Beta, with progress. Vastpark and Multiverse, the same. Unype just got funding. However, Google Lively was born *and* went bust. I feel that should count, even though it wasn't yet in Beta - who would have thought it had such a short lifespan. Several other kids ones are small, but still around.
It's kind of ironic that the only one to clearly bust was by the company with kajillions of dollars. Overall, I'm glad I was wrong about this prediction, because it shows the industry is stronger than I suspected.
2. We get an explanation why Arden went to Neverwinter Nights. (Did Castronova mis-spend funding or does Multiverse not deliver on what they promise?)
Correct! As I discussed in March, it turned out it was a tragedy of errors. *rimshot*
Here's hoping MacArthur Foundation finds better virtual world investments in 2009.
3. First mass-distributed paper-edition magazine for virtual worlds. (Probably put out by PC Gamer Magazine or a similar title as a spin-off.)
Wrong. Wrong by a lot, considering newspapers and magazines are going digital.
4. No open-SL-servers. (duh)
5. New wave of companies in virtual worlds who finally understand that "if you build it, they will come" doesn't work.
they do understand ... and ... so ... they don't know what to do and are stalling their entry into virtual worlds.
6. Havok 4 in SL. No, really, I think we got it this year.
7. Facebook virtual world application. (Maybe Metaplaces? Raph, c'mon, we know you can do it!)
Correct, though Raph's is Beta, there's some other avatar connection applications in Facebook, too.
8. I get ripped off for my ticket to Virtual Worlds 2008 Spring in New York. (Wait, that doesn't count since I control whether or not I go.)
Incorrect. Press Pass, for the win. But this one doesn't count anyway. :)
8b. Former Linden Lab CTO Cory Ondrejka is offered a job by IBM. (This I say with no knowledge whatsoever, I'm just guessing, but seriously, wouldn't that be a smart move by IBM?)
Incorrect. He was teaching and then switched over to the music industry. God knows why, but it's probably really cool at his department.
9. Candidates use virtual worlds in the 2008 Presidential Election, and at least one question in a televised debate is about virtual worlds.
Incorrect. Everyone expected the war and health care to be issues, but with the economy tanking it pretty much stole most of the rest of the topic-base. At the same time, Obama started change.gov, which is awesome. It's the start of social networking as a way to assist democratic participation. Or something.
10. Blizzard announces that it's undisclosed virtual world project is "World of Starcraft", after Starcraft 2 gets huge sales and great reviews.
Oh. Starcraft 2. How I wish you were released. But *sigh*, how can my prediction begin to come true if that premise is not even met? Fail.
11. A US Congressman (probably Republican, given the trend) is involved with a scandal involving an underage boy and yiffing on a virtual world.
Incorrect. At least, no scandal. Yet.
12. IBM will buy a virtual world company.
13. SLCC will be in Tampa, Florida. (No, wait, that's already determined true, this is just a random plug for the event! haha)
13b. Duran Duran will still have yet to have set foot in Second Life.
Correct! Say, speaking of snake oil, I wonder if people still will buy the Brooklyn Bridge!
14. Prok will take me off her enemies list, realizing I'm more harmless and silly than harmful.
Prokofy has ultimately become nearly completely off my radar, but I had to check my prediction, so I went over to his/her blog, SecondThoughts. Recently Prokofy reviewed my company's latest project, the Krystallnacht project we did with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Overall Prokofy had pretty good things to say, some criticism that amount to "not enough interactivity / action" (noted, and, was a difficult creative decision guided by the Museum).
However, Prokofy did take a swipe at me. (Good try, by the way. Next time, brush up on your scripting before you suggest specifics that don't work that way.) So, I guess "pompous" keeps me on her enemies list.
15. William Shatner will appear in Second Life. (Hopefully for my company, and hopefully I get to meet him, because I believe that's one of the things I need to do in life before he or I dies.)
16. There.com will rename itself "SecondLifeSucks.com". Kidding. (kind of!)
Incorrect. (kind of!)
16b. My mom will finally log onto Second Life after I convince my step-dad to remember the password on his wifi.
Fail! Though I did give the guided tour of this years' projects.
17. My dad will not log onto Second Life, because of his Luddite attitude toward not upgrading his Pentium 2 Sux-hundred megahertz clunker, and resistance to getting some #%&$ing broadband and off his crappy dial-up! (combine an old DEC-guru with a hate for cable companies, go figure)
Correct but incorrect with assumption. My father has FINALLY joined the information age and upgraded to a 3ghz PC with a Verizon FiOS connection. Literally this week. Kudos, pop! But, unfortunately not soon enough for me to get him to download Second Life, sign up, and show him the ropes. Next year!
18. Someone, somewhere, might find one of these predictions funny. (Ouch, that's a long-shot. I better come up with a real one for #18)
I think I recall someone IM'ing me and expressing a chuckle. Somewhere. I think. I'm going to say Correct. For my sanity's sake.
18b. Someone will bitch and complain about semantics when I claim one of these predictions is true. (No, that's too much of a sure-thing, let me try again.)
18c. "Avatar" will be the word of the year. (See what I've done, I had to recycle a failed predictions from last year!)
Wrong, and I'm pretty sure it'll be "change". Or "Joe _____". Or "Tina Fey is so hot as Palin". (Wait, that last one wasn't a word.)
19. Strong Bad will reference Second Life in one of his e-mails.
Negative! Though the Poop-smith did lift his vow of silence for e-mail 200. Who could have predicted THAT?
20. There is no #20.
Correct! I mean, incorrect! I mean, Paradox! GAH!!!!
So, this year I'm what? 6 or 7 for 20? Ugh. I was kind of silly with my predictions. Yeah. I'll use that as an excuse. What'll it be for 2009, folks? Silly or serious?
Graphjam win! High ratings + 8 diggs (so far.)
This is, no joke, one of my philosophies with clients. They are free to take their pick. :)
more music charts
Digg / Vote if you'd like :)
The latest project from my company, Involve, Inc, is a virtual exhibit of "The Night of Broken Glass" - Kristallnacht. For those unfamiliar with this, it's the 1938 pogrom in Germany when violence toward Jews spilled out into the public and became open and systematic. We worked with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to create an interactive, multimedia-rich exhibit with Second Life to showcase basically, "What would it be like the day after Kristallnacht?"
This project is a prime example of the immersive and simulation advantages to virtual worlds. What we can do that we can't do on traditional flat-web is put the person into the scene, to see it from a first person perspective. Photographs are certainly very important to learning about historical events, but by putting the user into history, it's an experience that will soak in and have a deeper and longer lasting impression on the visitor.
Rather than simply pass along a press release about Involve, Inc's latest project, I thought I'd do up a quick video, post it on our YouTube channel, and embed it here. Rik Panganiban has beat me to the punch.
So I'm very proud of this work and my team. This was a surprisingly small team and a very short-life-cycle project. We had Drew Stein and June Peoples doing project management and client liaising, Ian Tepoot as our talented project creative director, lead texture artist, graphic designer and audio editor, Trevor Finney as lead 3-D modeller, Michael Adams as texture artist ... and myself as overall manager of technology, programmer and tech/art integration manager.
It was a tricky project because of one pervasive question: "How realistic do we make this and not make the exhibit too intense for people to bear?" We solved the question, for the most part, but not doing the *night* of Kristallnacht, but doing it as if you're a reporter discovering the scene the day after. There are some exhibits that are almost like flashbacks in time, where you see certain things happen.
I'm very satisfied with the result. You can check it out yourself by logging into Second Life and heading to "US Holocaust Museum1" sim.
This Friday Involve, Inc, will have another new project releasing, and we are proud of the results. I'll have a press release and description then.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with me celebrating getting a photo on failblog. :)
see more pwn and owned pictures
Check it out!