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Web, Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds


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For a lecture given at UCL in 2007, an overview of the Web, Web 2.0 and virtual worlds.

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Web, Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds

  1. 1. Web, Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds Roo Reynolds Metaverse Evangelist [email_address]
  2. 2. Web
  3. 3. Netscape Navigator – 1994 - 1998
  4. 4. Mosaic - 1993
  5. 5. WorldWideWeb - 1990
  6. 6. First web server (Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXTcube) – 1990 "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!"
  7. 8. Web 2.0
  8. 9. Web 2.0 examples (then and now) <ul><li>Personal websites -> blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Britannica Online -> Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>DoubleClick -> Google AdSense </li></ul><ul><li>Domain name speculation -> search engine optimisation </li></ul><ul><li>Screen scraping -> web services </li></ul><ul><li>Content management systems -> wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Directories (taxonomy) -> tagging (&quot;folksonomy&quot;) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Web 2.0 components / characteristics The Web as “ The Platform” Tools: RSS, AJAX, PHP, Ruby Services, not packaged software Architecture of participation Small pieces loosely joined, or “re-mixed” Harnessing collective intelligence Software that gets better as more people use it Standards: REST, XHTML Techniques: Mash-up, wiki, tagging, blogging Rich user experience Light-weight programming models
  10. 18. Key themes to remember <ul><li>User-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds – the glue that holds it together </li></ul>
  11. 20. Web 2.0 attitude <ul><li>“ Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology . It’s about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services . By open I mean technically open with appropriate APIs but also, more importantly, socially open , with rights granted to use the content in new and exciting contexts.” </li></ul>Ian Davis
  12. 21. Virtual Worlds
  13. 22. Mars Base Alpha 4
  14. 23. Some history <ul><li>Text based adventure games - Adventure / ‘Advent’, 1975 </li></ul><ul><li>MUD ( M ulti- U ser D ungeon/Domain/Dimension) - 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>Talker - real-time, text-based communication, 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>Rogue - early 80s ASCII ‘graphics’. e.g. Nethack is ‘roguelike’ </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical MUD - Habitat, 1985 </li></ul><ul><li>IRC - Internet Relay Chat, 1988 (via MUT talker) </li></ul><ul><li>MOO ( M UD O bject O riented) - AlphaMOO, 1990. Later LambdaMOO </li></ul><ul><li>3D games - Wolfenstein 3D, first 3D F irst P erson S hooter, 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Online FPS - Doom, 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging - (` talk`), popularised with GUIs (ICQ, AOL) ’90s </li></ul><ul><li>MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds… </li></ul>
  15. 24. Virtual Worlds – as distinct from MMORPGs <ul><li>MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. NeverWinter Nights, Everquest, World of Warcraft, Ultima Online, Runescape… </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds - Massively multiplayer (but not role-playing games) </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Second Life, Big World, … </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The users generate the content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a game ; no objectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Terminology: Virtual World or </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>virtual social environment, MUVE (multi user virtual environment), synthetic world, … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 25. Who are the games players? <ul><li>In 2005, video and computer games sales came in at $7billion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slightly down on 2004 – due to new consoles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>69% of American heads of households play computer or video games </li></ul><ul><li>The average game player age is 33 </li></ul><ul><li>25% of gamers were over the age of 50 </li></ul><ul><li>42% of online game players are female </li></ul><ul><li>Women aged 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (23%) </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Entertainment Software Association., “Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry, 2006” </li></ul>
  17. 26. Second Life <ul><li>Stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4,490,000+ user accounts and growing fast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,600,000+ logged on in past 2 months. Usually 20,000+ concurrently online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not a game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A place for meeting, building, selling, collaborating and exploring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Active economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Millions of US$ changes hands between players every month. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media coverage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BBC, Wired, Economist, Business Week, Observer, Sunday Times, Guardian, Channel 4, CBS, USA Today, The Register, Forbes, … everyone </li></ul></ul>
  18. 27. More thoughts <ul><li>Are you an immersionist or an augmentationist ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replacing real life, or augmenting it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to treat each world. Its own country? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each has own culture(s), with etiquette and often economies. Tax? Who are the rulers? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The Web in ‘96” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immature, lacking many conventions. Sex and gambling. Walled gardens. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At least the Web had HTTP </li></ul></ul>
  19. 28. BBC – One Big Weekend concert with streaming audio and video
  20. 29. Major League Baseball event hosted in virtual stadium
  21. 30. Regina Spektor – marketed in-world by Warner Bros.
  22. 31. American Apparel virtual store
  23. 32. Reuters have a Second Life office, complete with embedded journalist
  24. 33. Why does IBM care?
  25. 34. Meetings
  26. 35. IBM Alumni event (
  27. 36. IBM Innovation Jam, CEO and VP present from SL
  28. 37. IBM 12 island innovation complex
  29. 38. Circuit City
  30. 39. Sears
  31. 40. Wimbledon demo… Integrating real-world ‘Hawkeye’ ball tracking data with Second Life for Wimbledon demo July 2006
  32. 41. Australian Open Jan 2007
  33. 42. More possibilities <ul><ul><li>Marketing, brand promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retail (consumer feedback) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design (trials) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media and entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education (e-learning, blended learning, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training (and rehearsal) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking and collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modelling (visualisation, simulation, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research, including monitoring (and data-mining) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  34. 43. What’s next? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>