I've been spending a lot of time looking at video games and the behind the scenes of their development lately as I think advertising can probably learn a thing or two from mediums that people actually want in their lives. Out of all of those who actually work in designing games, Raph Koster is one of the most prolific thinkers about what goes into making a great game. After spending years at Sony Online Entertainment publishing MMORPG's like Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest, he left to start his own company: Areae.
Areae's big project is called Metaplace, which is essentially a virtual world construction set. According to Raph:
"We are re-inventing virtual worlds that stop working like AOL," Koster
said, "and start working the way the Web does … You can build a
massive multiplayer game in minutes,
there are style sheets to make building easier."
"Virtual worlds have enormous potential," Koster said, "but they are
obsolete, built on 20-year-old technology. We don't know what you'll do
with [this], but that's the power of this new medium and that's why
we're so excited."
And on their website:
This could be the beginning of a big step forward in the development of the internet. I think his comparison of current virtual worlds to early closed online networks sheds some light on how different the future of these worlds could be from what they are now. They could end up being the future of the web. Why have a flat Website when you could set up a little 3-D world for people to navigate around in? We could be looking at the advent of the next internet…or the internet after the next internet maybe.