I had no idea that the World of Virtual Worlds had such high population. The video below by Gary Hayes (via kfsone) presents a march of video snippets from more than 50 virtual worlds (supposedly, I didn’t count). Very interesting.
Some of the entrants I find a little dubious … Spore, for example, is included. And there are a few that, in my understanding, are little better than chat clients with 2D image tags floating around … if these are truly virtual worlds, shouldn’t Facebook, Yahoo Groups and WorldIV also be classified as virtual worlds? But my intention today is not to debate the definition of virtual world.
Only one of the gamey worlds (like WoW or LotRO) is included … ATITD. I find this interesting. Both WoW and LotRo have persistent individual avatars. They both allow a wide variety of interaction with both the world and other players. And yet, at least in the mind of one virtual world afficionado, they’re not Virtual Worlds. And I agree, although I’m not precisely sure why. Perhaps it’s because the focus of the gamey virtual worlds is to experience the game designer’s vision. I think, in a true virtual world, the focus must be for everyone to express their own vision and to have those expressions interact with one another.
D’oh. There I went and expressed an opinion on the definition of Virtual World. All hands to battle stations!