Utterances of a Zimboe

Programming the Internet.

Universal Presence and Interaction in Virtual Worlds

with 2 comments

Melanie gives a nice introduction for an interesting virtual world platform Multiverse Network, where I’d see a good fit also for a common interaction platform. I’ll be discussing the actual subject below, but, as a side-note, I’ve been long waiting for a platform with a common data model, where there would be e.g. Civilization and some FPS implemented on top of the same information – also, a mobile front-end for World of Warcraft would be a somewhat restricted example of this. You’d control the exact same entities from all different types of perspectives. This would probably require multiple players on both sides, as someone should manage the strategic level while others are doing some fast-paced shooting in first person. However, a deeper abstraction of roles is already provided in Battlefield 2/042, so the concept surely is feasible.

To the point… As there’s the ‘universal sign-in’ already provided in the Multiverse (OpenID, pretty please), I only hope they’ll use an universal and open XMPP network for interactions. And why not, since so many web services already do, at least internally. It would be such a nice feat for being able to interact with those worlds outside of the actual game interface, e.g. with mobile IM clients. Logging in with a simple IM client would produce some rudimentary presence to the virtual world, for others being able to ‘see’ and interact with you. This would bring at least some ubiquity to those worlds, and it would cost about nothing to implement if the system was already using XMPP. Perhaps there could also be some basic exchange features provided over IM so that one could do mobile bartering… (Or, why not use the standard platform.) XMPP could also open up many other types of interaction beyond text messaging, like VoIP. Naturally, it would also enable cross-world communication, like WoW <-> SL; VoIP etc. included. I see all this interaction-ability especially significant as the social aspect of online worlds is becoming more important.

Isn’t all this very trivial? Why I’m not seeing any discussion on this?

Btw., if you happen to know a decent mobile IM client – comparable to the very comfy Google Talk – please give me a hint. All the clients that I managed to find were relatively crappy. How come it’s taking so long to come up with a mobile Google Talk client with VoIP and video? I just fail to understand. There’s even the Flash-platform in new Nokias (my E70 included) which could be useful for creating a sleek interface.

Virtual utopia, here we come! That Orwellian utopia is so yesterday’s news.

Technorati: Virtual Worlds, Games, XMPP, (Mobile) IM, Presence, OpenID

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Written by Janne Savukoski

November 7, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Internet

2 Responses

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  1. Yes it could be fun to have presence enabled virtual worlds, with all your creatures able to set their states ;)

    Where is the limit ?

    Jean-Louis Seguineau

    November 7, 2006 at 11:47 pm

  2. Yes, it could be interesting. And, you could include some rich elements into the presence as well, like location. Furthermore, using that information, you could map real life locations into virtual locations; for example, while you’re in a real life café, it would reflect in your SL character being in a ‘local’ café as well.

    And, if the XMPP interaction was possible, with the IPBX 2.0 you were discussing it would be possible for parents to call their children directly into the WoW (or alike)… I just don’t know if the kids were that intriqued. :)

    Janne Savukoski

    November 8, 2006 at 3:45 pm


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