Archive | March 2016

Internet 2021: A Metaverse Project on Kickstarter

In the moderation queue for the Metaverse subreddit, I came across a submission that had been withheld by the AutoModerator.

I visited the link and found something very interesting. It was a Metaverse project on Kickstarter. Their apparent crime appeared only to have been in putting too many dashes in the title, so I approved the link submission to /r/metaverse.

I am not involved in this project and I can’t provide a personal endorsement for their effort. Still, I thought it was interesting, and because this is the type of project that readers of Metaversing would tend to be interested in, I wanted to share this with you.

Technically, this isn’t the first Metaverse project to hit Kickstarter. That title probably belongs to either Surreal Adventures, or the VR Sandbox MMO called Voxelnauts. But this appears to be the first one that puts the Metaverse aspect of the project as something that is front and center, and not as an additional consideration to the side.

The traditional sales approach for a Metaverse project would show us a unique virtual world and sell backers on the sizzle of unique avatars, interesting environments, and a massively shared virtual environment. That isn’t what is happening here. They’re attempting to engage us… intellectually. Strange, isn’t it?

They start with their definition of a Metaverse, based upon the pillars of realism, ubiquity, interoperability, and scalability. They identify four major obstacles to include monetization, proprietary elements, lack of critical mass, and a premature focus on realism.

Their primary aim is to overcome the first two obstacles, which again are monetization and a proprietary platform. They propose a three year project for a core development team to work with backers to create a final project that would be released to the subject as open source.

Various levels of participation by the backers would result in increasing levels of influence in the project as well as rewards, such as a five year contract for land in the residential and commercial areas.

I’ve embedded their Kickstarter video below.


The part of their presentation that has generated the most interest begins at the 8:11 mark. They illustrate a live portal inside the world of Minecraft which would allow one to peer live into the world of Doom (and presumably, one in the world of Doom could peer in the reverse direction into the world of Minecraft). One might join their counterpart on the other side as simply as crossing the threshold. That appears to be the level of interoperability that this project hopes to enable.

The project itself is light on details, and it is something that I would like to have seen more of. Part of this may be because the goal of the project is to actually flesh out those details and implement them. Another reason may be the real threat of Brain Rape, a process where a venture capitalist or other developer seeks more disclosure, but only for the purpose of using that knowledge for themselves.

You can find out more about the project by visiting it on Kickstarter, and if you have specific questions for the project’s creator, you can always use the Contact Me link on the project’s main page.

I’m happy to see someone going in a different direction and breaking away the convention of a typical Metaverse project.

Update on the Metaverse Proposal

As of my last article, I had promised to explore the interconnect, and to provide a proposal for a Metaverse implementation that is both practical and specific. I haven’t delivered on that pledge as quickly as I had hoped, but I wanted to provide an update as to the new direction it is taking and how it is progressing.

My goal has switched from writing an article which proposes a Metaverse implementation to actually working with a team of people who are interested in exploring and actually implementing an initial specification. In the past few months, I’ve made some progress towards that.

As part of that, I’ve presented the core of the design to two different technical audiences (both skilled in the area of virtual reality). Both audiences received a full disclosure of the (otherwise unpublished) mechanism for the core Metaverse design. They got the basic Metaverse v0.1a blueprint.

The first audience didn’t have much in the way of background information, so the entirety was presented in a vacuum. They were able to see that it made sense, but other than that, there wasn’t much in the way of real enthusiasm for the project. Looking back, I can’t say that I blame them.

Ahead of the presentation, the second audience actively explored a great deal of background information on the subject. This background information explained the more global issues that Metaverse implementations have faced and some of the larger problems in virtual reality (Most of this, you’ll find in some of the earlier articles here at Metaversing.)

After explaining the core technical design, not only did they quickly understand the proposal, but they actually started selling me on the design and explained how it solved some of the issues that they themselves have run into. It went far beyond anything that I had expected from the experience.

The lesson I learned from this was that providing the technical specifics in a vacuum is a horrible way to onboard people to the project. A certain library of background information is required to help people digest the design and to understand the wide-ranging value which it creates.

At this point, my effort is concentrated on the onboarding process. Primarly, it is the documentation which provides that background information, shares the vision for what we are trying to accomplish, presents the initial design, sets a very specific project as a trial run.

An early first draft was sent out to a private review audience, and based on their feedback, I’m in the process of making revisions. I hope to have a complete and second document set to send out in the next few weeks. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to zero in on a good set of documents sooner rather than later.

So, that’s where the Metaverse proposal is at. It has taken on a more concrete form, and is inching forward quite a bit slower than I had hoped, but it hasn’t died. Far from it!

My apologies for a lack of updates up until this point, and I hope to have something more substantial to share in the near future. Thanks, everyone, for your patience.