The Idea of the Universal Avatar

This morning there was an interesting discussion on the official Sansar Discord channels about the idea of a Universal Avatar. Lilith Heart (well known for her Heart Botanicals brand in Second Life) said:

…Whoever owns the first truly Universal Avatar system that enables people to travel with their inventories intact, to different worlds/games/systems, will possibly dominate and win. It’s all about the avatar and its valuable inventory, and most of the big players in this area so far seem to be neglecting this. It surprises me that Unity/Unreal/Lumberyard/Cryengine, none of them have such a Universal Avatar system in place. Kind of crazy really because effectively what is happening is, every developer/studio has to reinvent the wheel and create their own avatar/character systems. Whoever solves this problem will make the big, big [money].

Another user (Aojashin) argued that what Linden Lab is attempting to build in Sansar is a sort of Universal Avatar: one customizable avatar with inventory, which can visit multiple, vastly different experiences (“metaverses”). I still prefer to define all of Sansar as a whole single metaverse, but he has a good point.

Of course, you could argue that we already have a sort of Universal Avatar ability in the Opensims. They have the option of Hypergrid, which allows users to visit other OpenSimulator installations across the web from their “home” OpenSimulator installation. But that is supported only because they are all pretty much running off the same codebase.

Obviously, there are almost insurmountable technical obstacles to creating such a Universal Avatar system. But the idea still has merit. What is likely to happen instead is a Facebook model: one company so dominates in a particular area that they set the standard. And there are so many companies (including the big five: Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook/Oculus, and Microsoft/Altspace) who desperately want to dominate in this area. (In fact, Amazon has just announced their Amazon Sumerian product, obviously eager to muscle in on the corporate market for VR experiences. I’m sure that Linden Lab is hoping for a piece of that market for the Sansar platform! It looks like it’s going to be a very competitive arena.)

But if the major players ever do agree on some open standards that allow avatars created in one system to travel to others, we could see the dawn of the true metaverse as depicted in fiction by sci-fi novels such as Ready Player One and Snow Crash.

ready-player-one

Image: taken from the upcoming Ready Player One movie by Steven Spielberg (variety.com)

 

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“How many slutty little dresses can you own?”

There’s been quite a bit of discussion on the official Sansar Discord server of the upcoming fashion market for Sansar, which we are still scheduled to get, at least as a first release, in mid-December, according to Linden Lab. (One of the burning questions: will the new Sansar default avatars have baked-on underwear or not?)

But we’ve been talking about other things, too:

Hoochiewear 28 Nov 2017

Through the Second Life Friends group on Facebook, I found out about my new favourite thing in Second Life! It’s a backpack by ScriptWorks that you wear, and when you click it, it teleports you to a random spot anywhere within Second Life! You can buy a set of 5 random teleporter backpacks on the SL Marketplace, which means that you can give them to your friends and go exploring together! A group of backpack wearers can be simultaneously teleported to any random location on the grid, estates as well as mainland sims. It is great fun and a great way to see Second Life!

The reason I bring this up now, is that one of the places I randomly teleported to was this shop:

The Slut Shop 22 Oct 2017.png

Sansar Newsblog Word Cloud

I’ve been exploring various data visualization software tools as part of my job at work, and today I decided to test-drive the free online word cloud generator software called WordClouds.com. I was casting around for some data to try it with and I decided to create a word cloud from all my Sansar Newsblog posts to date!

Here’s the word cloud it generated:

Sansar Newsblog Word Cloud

The bigger the word, the more often it was used in my blog. No surprise, the most-used words are “Linden”, “Lab”, and “Sansar”!

This can be a very useful tool for analyzing large amounts of text to determine any possible patterns. Give it a try yourself! Here’s the link.

Drax Files: Part Three of War of the Social Worlds

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I’ve already posted about Parts One and Two of the engaging discussion hosted by Drax, and now there is a Part Three!  Excellent discussion, with participation by adherents to a variety of social worlds, and well worth a listen.