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Friday, October 1, 2021

CONTINUITY: Navigating Virtual Worlds

The second part of Raph Koster's series, “How Virtual Worlds Work” (read Part 1) discusses the nature of maps of real versus imaginary spaces, moving around the map vs. a map tracking your movement, and the need for standards that treat maps in a compatible way that represents connectiivity, nor just artwork, as is so often the case.

It's easy to imagine a metaverse where “it's all connected, and you can go anywhere preserving your identity”, as envisioned in Ready Player One. But how will this really work and feel in practice?

By definition though, any multiverse (and remember, a metaverse is just a more advanced version of a multiverse) is going to involve many very different places. You don’t want those all to exist on one map. You’d end up with Fairyland butting up against World War II.

Aesthetics isn’t the main reason this is bad. The real issue is that players won’t be happy if they were expecting a nice peaceful tea party with talking flowers, but they took one step too far, and were run over by a Sherman tank.

For a glimpse of artificial reality as it might actually look if implemented by today's creators of “social media” with the underlying quality and respect for the customer we've come to expect from outfits such as Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, see the short video cited in the paper, “Hyper-Reality” by Keiichi Matsuda.

Posted at October 1, 2021 14:27