We discussed content and community in Second Life in one of our previous posts . In this post I’d like to discuss the questions asked by my Imaginary cousin! What is the one killer application/utility that might transform the way we use Virtual Worlds today and make them a universal phenomenon ?
I am sure, every Metaverse Development Company and other tech majors like IBM are working on that one. In the meantime the following are the limitations of creating utilities in Virtual Worlds :
1. The code is not open sourced ( in the case of Second Life only the client side code is open).
2. Where code is open sourced like in Croquet , there isn’t enough developer incentive and consequently not much mass acceptance or movement.
3. Restricted access to the Web from inside the Virtual Worlds.
4.No Internal Database support.
5.Even in-world scripting has limited capabilities owing to security and spamming concerns.
The above list is not exhaustive. At present any utilities we are creating as programmers on Second Life in India or around the world…are work-arounds , as access to the client side code is absent. Despite these limitations developers have come up with great utilities.
These utilities can be classified into three categories broadly :
1.Help the avatars inside Second Life lead easier and more productive virtual lives ! For instance the SLJobfinder.com application and service created by Indusgeeks helps avatars find jobs inside Second Life.
2.Attempt to connect the Web and other applications to Second Life to make them more universally usable.
3. Derive relevant data for Real Life organizations to justify and capitalize on their virtual world investments.
Ultimately, as codes become more open and interoperability between virtual worlds rises ( will touch on this in detail later), people will start looking to “do” more things on them. Even today we see an increasing restlessness amongst users about what else to do in VWs besides build, chat, shop and party… This need to be more productive on the 3D Net will lead , we believe, to a burst in developmental activity around utility creation ( aka raising the Utility Quotient).
We at Indusgeeks are actively working towards this end. Already, we rarely sell static or marketing oriented “virtual presences” to our clients. Sure beautiful buildings and lots of newspaper acreage helps… but what will win the war in the end , we think, is Utility. The Geeks wanna be around when Utility becomes the King in Second Life!