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

Sellers Sellers
Wed Jan 5 12:00:04 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


Raph wrote:
> From: J C Lawrence <claw at kanga.nu>
> > http://www.shirky.com/writings/quake.html
> >
> > --<cut>--
> > Playfulness in 3-D Spaces
> > I have now found what I was looking for, and found it, to my
> > chagrin, years late. A networked 3-D engine with excellent shared
> > space capabilities, open source code, a well-published
> > world-building specification, an active development community, and a
> > project showing the kind of rapid improvement year after year that
> > comes from the best massively parallel design efforts, such as the
> > Web.
> >
> > It is called Quake.
> 
> Oh, good God. :P Somebody go show him EverQuest.

Well that was my reaction too, though I tried to keep a stiff upper lip, and
I pointed him toward AC, which I think is better for showing this kind of
thing than EQ.  

> To me, this realization betrays the fundamental blindness of the academic
VR
> community. The real problems with shared VR spaces aren't even
> technological, they're social--but they can't see the forest for the
trees.

Well they're both: the technological issues are daunting, as shown by the
VRML community's inability to get past them, but only then do you see the
complexity of the social issues.  But the uninformed nature of this guy at
least (and I've met a lot of others like him in academia) is frustrating.  

> In most ways, text muds are a more sophisticated VR than their (largely
> theoretical) endeavors can encompass. The fact that they are still hung up
> on the issue of display, of all things, indicates how much thinking they
> actually have to do about the problem.
> 
> Clients are the least of your concerns in virtual space design. :P

Yeah.  All together now: :P

Mike Sellers



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