Bruce Damer's presentation for Larry Lessig's Cyberlaw class at Stanford (Mar 2003)


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Bruce Damer's presentation for Larry Lessig's Cyberlaw class at Stanford (Mar 2003), title: Virtual worlds as a public commons and the code of this commons .

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Bruce Damer's presentation for Larry Lessig's Cyberlaw class at Stanford (Mar 2003)

  1. 1. Virtual worlds as a public commons and the code of this commons Lessig/Dibbell Class @ Stanford University (Mar 11, 2003) I. Origins of the visual interface II. Early uses of virtual worlds III. Evolution of dimensional and community cyberspaces IV. Key Question: Where do you want to live? V. What happens in a creative public commons? VI. Code of a public virtual world commons VII. Prospects for the public commons of virtual worlds VIII. Acknowledgements and Resources IX. Demo of environments X. Code and the virtual worlds commons - discussion
  2. 2. <ul><li>Origins of the visual interface </li></ul><ul><li>Bush (Memex), Nelson </li></ul><ul><li>Engelbart’s vision </li></ul><ul><li>SRI - NLS </li></ul><ul><li>1968 – Mother of all Demos </li></ul><ul><li>E&S 60s–1970s </li></ul>
  3. 3. Visual Interfaces – Xerox PARC and elsewhere, 1970s-80s
  4. 4. 3D interfaces - evolution <ul><li>1970s wireframe to solid to ray traced - SIGGRAPH </li></ul><ul><li>Alvy Ray Smith – PARC to PIXAR </li></ul><ul><li>Early 80s SGI </li></ul><ul><li>Real time rendering </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive VR </li></ul><ul><li>Commodity Virtual Worlds/Internet – 90s-2000s </li></ul>
  5. 5. II. Early uses of virtual worlds <ul><li>Simulation – weather, aerodynamics, cold war </li></ul><ul><li>Render to film – Hollywood and TV </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental informational interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Art/Experience - placeholder </li></ul>
  6. 6. Geographical Information Systems <ul><li>Geographical Information Systems - GeoFusion textured 3D model of earth with real satellite imagery </li></ul>
  7. 7. Geographical Information Systems <ul><li>Overlay of real time data – Salt Lake Winter Olympics locations </li></ul>
  8. 8. Artistic and Pedagogical applications <ul><li>Art/Experience – Placeholder, Osmose, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, Krueger </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental Pedagogy – cyberfora @ ArtCenter - Vlearn SIG </li></ul>
  9. 9. Artistic and Pedagogical uses <ul><li>VLearn3D SIG and annual cyberconference </li></ul>
  10. 10. Far Frontiers of 3D environments <ul><li>Evolutionary virtual worlds (Sims, </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling the large and the small scale (cosmology, quantum dynamics) </li></ul><ul><li>Tele-immersion </li></ul>
  11. 11. III. Evolution of dimensional and community cyberspaces <ul><li>The original Maze War - ARPANET </li></ul><ul><li>1970s-80s DOD simulation and training </li></ul><ul><li>1980s - MUDs, Moos text-based worlds </li></ul><ul><li>1990s – Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM </li></ul><ul><li>2000s Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming </li></ul>
  12. 12. Killer App Driving Evolution - Games EverQuest <ul><li>75,000 to 100,000 users online at any one time </li></ul><ul><li>Feature film level budget and box office </li></ul>
  13. 13. Killer App - Games The Sims <ul><li>Design and run your own “soap opera”, households, towns, businesses, in a sort of “puppet theater” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Killer App - Games Venture rush into the virtual worlds medium <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Linden Labs “Second Life” </li></ul><ul><li>Star Wars Galaxies </li></ul><ul><li>Never Winter’s Night (DandD) </li></ul><ul><li>20 other projects in the works </li></ul>
  15. 15. What characterizes these spaces? They are all commercial and centrally managed Turnstiles to “theme parks” or “shopping malls”. The same struggle over the public commons is occuring in cyberspace What about worlds that are “community”, a public commons? Where in our society (US) is there an IRL (physically manifested) creative commons that is not behind a turnstile? IV. Key Question: Where would you want to live?
  16. 16. How about Burning Man?
  17. 17. Radical self expression
  18. 18. Group expression
  19. 19. Sense of total immersion through set and setting
  20. 20. Invented shared rituals
  21. 21. Right next door the “turnstiles” of Reno Casinos
  22. 22. A citizen-built virtual world commons Alphaworld (pioneering “accident”, 1995)
  23. 23. Worlds Inc,  user buy-out, IPO Neighborhoods of construction Succeed as a business?
  24. 24. User-created emergent social structures & activities - wedding
  25. 25. V. What happens in a creative public commons? Select projects & experiments 1995-2003 <ul><li>Building and community experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Learning spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Cyber-conferences </li></ul><ul><li>NASA mars mission simulation </li></ul>
  26. 26. Building and Community experiments in Alphaworld and Active Worlds Sherwood Forest Towne
  27. 27. Learning Spaces Virtual walk on the moon with Apollo IX astronaut Russell Schweickart
  28. 28. Learning Spaces Virtual walk on the moon with Apollo IX astronaut Russell Schweickart
  29. 29. Collaboration Spaces – Datafusion “war room”
  30. 30. Collaboration Spaces – Datafusion “war room”
  31. 31. AVATARS Cyber-conferences Annual festival of the avatar commons “the Burning Man of Bits”
  32. 32. Avatars2001 a cyberspace odyssey
  33. 33. Avatars2001 a cyberspace odyssey
  34. 34. Avatars2002 a merry cyber party
  35. 35. Avatars2002 a merry cyber party
  36. 36. “ Serious” virtual worlds NASA Mars Mission Simulation – Life aboard the FMARS habitat
  37. 37. NASA Mars Mission Simulation – Life aboard the FMARS habitat
  38. 38. NASA Mars Mission Simulation – Volunteers modeled Mars from orbit
  39. 39. “ Mojo” Mars <ul><li>MOLA and surface texture data creating a real time model of Mars surface that is “walkable” </li></ul>
  40. 40. NASA Mars Mission Simulation – Drive on Mars – MER rovers
  41. 41. VI. Code of a public virtual world commons Necessary exposure of code to the citizenry yielding issues in control, creativity, contradiction <ul><li>Platform Code </li></ul><ul><li>Code for authority </li></ul><ul><li>Code for identity & privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Code for communication </li></ul><ul><li>Code for property </li></ul><ul><li>Code for behavior and automata </li></ul><ul><li>Code for economy </li></ul>Kinds of Code that can affect a virtual world commons
  42. 42. Platform Code <ul><li>Network protocols </li></ul><ul><li>UI affordances </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions and limitations </li></ul>“ Locked-in” code, underlying assumptions
  43. 43. Code for authority <ul><li>Powers granted, login profile </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical structures </li></ul><ul><li>Insurrections and schisms </li></ul><ul><li>Early virtual worlds emphasized a “flat” model </li></ul>Began with “wizard” traditions in MUDs
  44. 44. Code for identity & privacy <ul><li>Login, profiles - public and private </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymity </li></ul><ul><li>To appear or not to appear, the visibility question </li></ul><ul><li>Texting and joining permissions </li></ul><ul><li>Bots </li></ul><ul><li>No best practices, developed over time </li></ul>
  45. 45. Code for communication <ul><li>Reach: loudness, whisper, public speaker, PA </li></ul><ul><li>Bot intervention: spoofing </li></ul><ul><li>Texting and other message leaving, abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with objects, bots </li></ul><ul><li>Text – graphics modification ;) </li></ul>
  46. 46. Example of code for communication at work in the Palace The Palace is not the first graphic multi-user domain ever created, but it is probably the least strict. Many powers possessed by the average Palace memberópainting, spoofing, nickname-changing, etc. would be reserved for wizards and gods. The way we decide to handle these powers determines to a great degree what kind of community we are. These powers have been given to all of us as a design decision on the part of The Palace Inc., but it is important to remember that it's all software; should certain powers prove unmanageable or harmful, they may be curtailed or removed entirely from subsequent versions. In a way, The Palace can be seen as a massive, progressive social experiment in which we are all participating. For this reason, I invite you to participate in the Community Standards Discussion Group at .
  47. 47. Example of code at play in the Palace IptScrae 101: Use the Palace Script Language to Automate Yourself ; spoof somebody by positioning the mouse on their mouth ; and then typing &quot;msay blah blah&quot; { &quot;$1&quot; GREPSUB chatter = chatter MOUSEPOS SAYAT &quot;&quot; CHATSTR = } CHATSTR &quot;^msay (.*)$&quot; GREPSTR IF If you're into spoofing people (putting words in their mouths), this atomlist makes it a lot easier than using the @X,Y function. It waits for you to say anything that starts with the word &quot;msay.&quot; When you do, everything after the word &quot;msay&quot; is sent to a cartoon balloon which appears at your mouse pointer's position. It then sets the CHAT string to (nothing) so that no one sees your original utterance. This is such a useful routine that you should probably keep it just the way it is.
  48. 48. Code for property <ul><li>Building rights and easements </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing rights </li></ul><ul><li>Term and conditions of title </li></ul><ul><li>Identity of object owners </li></ul><ul><li>Bot building </li></ul><ul><li>Spoofing property </li></ul>
  49. 49. Code for behavior and automata <ul><li>Latches and doors/teleporters </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility of objects </li></ul><ul><li>Bots and their powers to build, change, represent a user </li></ul><ul><li>K9 type bots for tracking of abusive returning users </li></ul>
  50. 50. Code for economy <ul><li>Virtual currencies prices and private accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Vending systems and barter trade, gift giving </li></ul><ul><li>Private object collections </li></ul><ul><li>Theft of objects, prosecution </li></ul>
  51. 51. VII. Prospects for the public commons of virtual worlds <ul><li>Investment largely in turnstile environments </li></ul><ul><li>Notable exceptions: Adobe Atmosphere, fully distributed, user-owned </li></ul><ul><li>VRML/X3D and other open efforts in niches </li></ul><ul><li>Universal availability of 3D hardware, costs lowered for hobbyists </li></ul><ul><li>Great deal of academic/research activity </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Metaverse” cannot make up for a reduced public commons IRL </li></ul>
  52. 52. The inevitable drift of cybersociety?
  53. 53. VIII. Acknowledgements and Resources <ul><li>Lawrence Lessig, Julian Dibbell </li></ul><ul><li>DigiBarn Computer Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Consortium, Bonnie DeVarco </li></ul><ul><li>Datafusion Inc. Monsanto, Safety-Kleen </li></ul><ul><li>NASA Ames Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>Active Worlds Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Systems Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>GeoFusion </li></ul><ul><li>Mike Heim </li></ul>
  54. 54. Online Resources <ul><li>This presentation is at: </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: http://www. digitalspace .com/forms/comment.html </li></ul><ul><li> The Digital Space Commons </li></ul><ul><li> Contact Consortium </li></ul><ul><li> VLearn3D Special Interest Group </li></ul><ul><li>Drive on Mars: </li></ul><ul><li>Burning Man pages: www. burningman .com </li></ul><ul><li>DigiBarn Computer Museum: www. digibarn .com </li></ul>
  55. 55. IX. Demo of Environments
  56. 56. X. Code and the virtual worlds commons - discussion <ul><li>Make a buck, sustain high development and content creation costs (Electronic Arts example) </li></ul><ul><li>Creating inclusive community experiences, memory </li></ul><ul><li>Shared realities, political organization </li></ul><ul><li>New medium of artistic expression </li></ul><ul><li>Learning spaces, research environments </li></ul><ul><li>Open source? </li></ul><ul><li>Your thoughts? </li></ul>
  57. 57. XI. Bonus! (This has been a vision of cyberspace for a long time)
  58. 58. “ Escape” in Finite State Fantasies (1976) by Rich Didday
  59. 66. “ Moral of the story”