David says he thinks of Croquet as the dial tone for Cyberspace.
Our company CTO, David Smith, has been the principle architect of Croquet since the beginning. Long before that, he wrote the first commercial 3D game for a personal computer. Here’s some video (made with an actual video camera on old Mac) of how The Colony looked in 1987.
One of the great mashups going on now is not just mixing content, but media. WebTV. NPR on an iPod. MTV on YouTube. TV on the Radio. Some social virtual worlds are lightweight enough that they can run within the frame of a Web browser when you visit the associated site. While we have always had documents, applications, sounds, movies, and Web browsers running within our Croquet and Qwaq virtual worlds, we’re now doing a bit more ping-pong between the Web and Qwaq Forums.
< %image(20090816-ForumPage.gif|522|437|Web page corresponding to a room in a virtual world. Click for full size.)%>
Pages like this one make it easy to get information (e.g., documents) into or out of a forum without using the 3D collaborative client. Maybe you’re not at your usual laptop or desktop computer and only have Web access. Maybe you are an executive or assistant to someone working in the forum such that you can’t suit up and be seen.
We’ve created ordinary http URLs that teleport you to places in-world in Qwaq Forums, Being programmers, we could not resist the pun of calling them QRLs. The most common uses today are:
- meet me here – telling someone where to meet, in IM, email, or calendar invite
- I was here – recording a history of where you were in a bookmark or some sort of audit trail
- go there – even if working asynchronously, you can tell people where to go to explore more from a Web page, blog, or wiki
Most programs will recognize
http://… and turn it into something clickable that starts your Web browser if it is not already started. Our QRLs produce a page that displays instructions, which is nice if you don’t yet have the Forums client installed. But if it is installed, the page can automatically launch the client and place you directly at the designated location.
A neighbor and I were introducing ourselves to a third at a block party. The first made designer genes, while I made designer worlds. Everyone knew what we were talking about.
There’s a lot of interest in voting technology for the expected record numbers of voters in the US presidential election, and voting widgets have become an expected accessory in social Web sites. But the simplest voting technology is no explicit technology. Is there a place for that in virtual worlds?