[MUD-Dev] Clay Shirky's "Playfulness in 3-D Spaces"

Jeremy Jeremy
Wed Jan 5 11:27:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Tue, 4 Jan 2000, J C Lawrence wrote:
> 
> http://www.shirky.com/writings/quake.html
> 
> --<cut>--
> 
> The Net is too young, and the 3-D space problem too tricky, to shoot
> for perfection right now.  What worries me most about my belated
> discovery of Quake is that in years of looking at 3-D spaces, no one
> ever mentioned it in the same breath as VRML and I never thought of
> it myself, simply because of the stigma attached to things that are
> "merely" games. Many of us, myself very much included, have come to
> believe our own press about the seriousness of our current
> endeavors. We have been adversely affected by the commercial
> applications of the network, and have weaned ourselves off the
> playfulness that has always produced insights and breakthroughs.
> 

Those of us who have been living in these 3-D worlds (Quake I/II/III,
Unreal, Halflife, Everquest, etc.) have been watching with some amusement
as the "VRML people" attempted to create something that we'd been playing
with for years.

I checked out VRML a couple years ago, and then again about a year ago,
and silently wondered why they were so "behind the times" when Quake did
what they were aiming for, and did it faster and prettier, truly giving
the feeling of "immersion" that VRML just couldn't provide.

Everquest, though fantasy based, is an excellent example of an
applied 3d world.  You can act and interact with other people in a "face
to face" environment.  I am sure the next generation of this type of game
will allow voice communication as well, coming very close to a total
immersion, not quite Lawnmower Man or The Matrix, but I think we are
still many, many years from such total immersion, and for that matter I
believe that many people will not want such a total immersion and would
opt for the simpler but "safer" immersion of controlling an avatar.

Jeremy Music
(I don't live in a perfect world, maybe I can create one)





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