Friday, February 15, 2008

metaverse roadmap summit

Spent most of today at Stanford at the Metaverse Roadmap workshop. It was a nice chance to catchup with a lot of friends from the space, most of whom I have not seen since leaving Linden. The day was a mix of lightweight presentations and mingling time, which was great. Some of the presentations were very interesting. Sibley of Electric Sheep did a good job concisely explaining the challenges and surprises of selling virtual world experiences to corporations. Outside of the usual set -- compatibility, performance, smaller downloads -- he called out data exporting as a key requirement. Businesses have web services for their data and get frustrated when they can't leverage that data and those systems. Mitch Kapor gave a great talk introducing his current exploration of 3D cameras. Using a mix of technologies, 3D cameras generate good 3D data on their entire field of view, opening up a host of interesting UI opportunities. The most important thought from the talk, I thought, was a point about the distinction between recognizing ideas while remaining agnostic to the which technology or approach wins in the market. Obvious, I suppose, but it is easy to conflate the two when considering projects to work on or invest in. Raph Koster spoke a bit -- claiming he would be cynical :-) -- about the trends toward commercial, small, and advertising worlds. He also raised the good point that we need to remember to read our speculative fiction for inspiration. He called out "Halting State" as a particularly good read.

All-in-all, a useful day, although I personally found the talking-with-others portions of the day the most interesting. As I start zeroing in on what I want to work on next, being able to bounce ideas around with lots of smart people is worth its weight in gold.


ibogost said...

Raph Koster spoke a bit -- claiming he would be cynical :-) -- about the trends toward commercial, small, and advertising worlds.

I can't find anyone who covered this event. Can you say more about this part in particular? Some might say that, uhm, Raph is now in the business of commercial, small, and advertising worlds.

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