22 January 2008

An Insider's History of the Metaverse

It was sad news that Cory Ondrejka was parting company with Second Life, but it looks like there's a silver lining:

I think it would be fun to make a semi-regular part of this site different moments from my memories of the first 7 years of Second Life.

Once upon a time,

Around August of 2001, back when Second Life was called Linden World, there was no scripting language in SL. Primitar was about to replace the spaceships and floating eyeballs that were the original avatars and James was doing the first major UI revamp so that we could add to the world without shooting. The entire team had been debating how to add behavior into the system for months, with Philip arguing that we should just use physics. Philip had some really good points, because if we were able to use Havok for all of our behaviors, residents would be able to gauge the complexity of an object by just looking at it -- like mechanical systems in the real world -- and we wouldn't have to divert scarce resources into a project that could take significant time and effort. Mitch was also an advocate of visual complexity representing behavioral complexity, and I think there was something to that idea.

Now read on...

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