Sunday, September 23, 2007

MUDs/Second Life + Web 2.0 + 3D = Metaplace

Just when you thought you've seen everything the Web 2.0 and social media has to offer, Metaplace scribbles all over that and writes their name over the sad remains, making MySpace look childish and old-fashioned.

What is Metaplace? I first heard about it when my boyfriend mentioned it from an interview he read. Let's see how well I can explain it.

If MySpace and Second Life had a lovechild, the next generation would be named Metaplace.
Take the personal website profile aspect of MySpace, but add the graphics and navigation of a videogame or MMO a-la-Second Life and you would have a 3D virtual world of your own creation that exists on your own personal Metaplace website.

Gah, it's difficult to really picture it without seeing it. So watch this:

The idea is that like other social media in that you don't need to know any code to use it. Designer Raph Koster describes it like a 3D graphical blog or profile page that you can make in minutes then alter and add at will.

Metaplace gaining substantial buzz, especially among gamers. For them, this will mean this type of online gaming and social interaction will not depend on downloaded software but directly on a webpage that can be accessed anywhere.

Metaplace is currently in alpha, being offered for previewing to programmers and developers. The goal is to make the different "templates" (do you want a game? a 3D chatspace?) to be created by anyone to be shared with the community (for free or at a price - it's up to the creator). Like a videogame, Metaplace will have it's own currency so you can "buy" new things for your page.

Of interest to businesses and PR professionals: Areae, the company producing Metaplace, is already in talks with undisclosed corporations about creating "sponsored" pages that users will be able to visit and play in, like Second Life.

Not expected to reach open beta until next Spring, this will be MMO gaming and Second Life interaction for the page-surfing MySpacer. Welcome to the future.

"...we've created a virtual world platform. We're trying to be open, so that anyone can write clients. It's designed to allow anyone to have a virtual world on any kind of website that they want. You can have a standalone client too. Our goal is to have virtual worlds for everyone. We have this motto, "Build anything, play anything, from everywhere." Eventually. Of course, we're not done yet." - Raph Koster, in the 1-Up interview.
9/25 Update: I mentioned it in the comments for this post, but Kassie (thank you, Kassie!) found me a link about Google trying this for themselves.


Corinne Weisgerber said...

Sounds and looks really interesting - at least from what I can tell from the demo. They are accepting applications for Alpha testers until tomorrow (I just signed up, so thanks for the tip!).

Benjamin said...

this is pretty cool, but I'm kinda weary about things like this.

Megan said...

It sounds promising, but now they're actually going to have to deliver! I know Google is also trying to jump on the "virtual worlds" bandwagon, which is also stirring some buzz.

kassie! said...

I just found this article talking about Google and Second Life. Thought you might find it interesting -

kassie! said...

Oops. Try this link.