Tuesday, February 14, 2006
My friend Frederic just said something to me in an instant message that has been on the tip of my tongue for sooooo long...I have been wanting to create a new computer "game" for quite a while now but have not been able to put the concept into words...Fred sums it up:
"...a shared world of dreams and imagined universes forming and unforming."
Basically what I want to create is a "lush internet"...an architecture for universe creation that is scalable to the current computer multimedia technology which is connected by a very high bandwidth internet connection.
Fred elaborates: "...aand the worlds would be of incomprehensible difference. Consider: I could propose to a computer program a certain number of tenets. Like let's say I propose to it my fantasy world I've been developing in context of a novel and RPGs. In one second, it could create that whole universe...I'm assuming incomprehensible processing speed and storage."
But is this digital metaverse such a great idea? Imagine humans one day being able to accept the fact that organic existance is no longer necessery (or easily integrated and sustainable within a superior virtual architecture) and being able to integrate completely into such an architecture. Frederic asks: "My question is: Would the body even be there anymore? Or would we just breed pure digital children and keep a stock of bodies for surface exploration?" Or would we have replaced our "traditional" forms with more ideal replacements of some alternate design?
...which brings us to the next issue: "Addicts. Imagine the addiction someone would get being an omnipotent person, able to throw a star with their "strength", moving at a million times the speed of light, conjuring the gravity of a black holes. Every sensation could be simulated. You could feel a whole universe."
Would you ever want to go back?
Update @ 9:30AM, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006
Just saw this on Slashdot: This Saturday real people will hang out with virtual avatars at a gathering in D.C., combining the online world of Second Life with the real world.
When I was younger there was something quite similar to this set up at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation. Big screen monitors, which displayed a locally networked world similar to Second Life, were set up all around the campus. People could come up to a terminal, choose an avatar, and walk around talking to other avatars which were represented by the people using the other terminals. People would gather around these setups and marvel at the fact that somebody right next to them was interacting quite naturally with a "virtual person" (who was really just upstairs or in the adjacent room).
A commenter on /. said that this sounds like a conceptually weird idea...to which a response was given: "...yeah, but your kids will love it."