Science fiction films and books have created a hunger for Oculus-style, head-mounted displays (HMDs) and "immersive" experiences, but does wearing a pair of goggles really have more power to transport us? Based on my 10 years of experience in the field I don't think so.
Richard Bartle, one of the original coders of the whole MUD (multi-user dungeons) and gaming industry, has written an easy to comprehend and richly detailed look at the history, design, development, and marketing of virtual worlds.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) is a relatively recent method of educational delivery -- where thousands of people across the world can access college-level courses for free anywhere there is an internet connection -- is being hailed by some as a revolution, and by others as a fad.
Are we talking to the digital natives to get an understanding of why they are so interested in that cell phone that we think is a distraction in the classroom? The answer may be deeper and more complex than "Oh, they just like to be on that silly Facebook."
I asked Philip Rosedale to summarize his lessons learned from creating Second Life. If you were advising an entrepreneur who wanted to do something as big and bold as Second Life, what are your top five pieces of advice -- what to do and what not to do?
Most modern Americans have a very low capacity for pleasure. I don't just mean sex. I mean being tactile, receiving touch, feeling the wind rush past your body, swimming, getting in bed at night and rolling around in your clean sheets for a few minutes.
Quickly addicted to the tasks of mining and building, I awoke at 4 AM to play with my kids online for an hour before they left for school and I left for meetings. At night I'd check out what they made. They wanted to play Minecraft every waking hour of the day. And so did I.
Wow, your very own space station for $330k, sounds like a real bargain. Until you realize that it's located on Planet Calypso, a virtual world. Yes, in the midst of the great recession, someone actually paid $330,000 for a virtual space station.