You might not believe it – but this is a photo of something that will change the metaverse. This is a photo of an avatar created on one grid visiting with avatars on another grid. Not impressed? Let’s back up a bit.
A grid is a hosted instance of a virtual world platform, in the case of this photo – this environment was created using the OpenSim platform http://opensimulator.org. It is a brand new grid – or hosted instance of OpenSim called Jokaydia Grid http://jokaydiagrid.com, created by Jo Kay who is a virtual worlds developer better known as Jokay Wollongong in Second Life.
My avatar Pandora Kurrajong is visiting this brave new world/grid even though she was created on and came from another grid. This is not analogous to visiting one web site after another. This is analogous to starting off on one LAN and crossing over to another. Crossing grid boundaries is a reasonably new ability in the metaverse – at least in terms of it being available to mainstream users http://reactiongrid.com/Support/HyperGrid.aspx.
What assets come across with the avatar? What assets can be acquired and what gets left behind? From our experiment this afternoon, Pandora’s hair/wig as an object did not come across from Reaction Grid and she couldn’t acquire hair from Jokaydia Grid to wear. She couldn’t rez an object from her ReactionGrid-based inventory nor could she accept one from Jokaydia Grid. She could, however, build on Jokaydia Grid but couldn’t take the objects back. This works in favour of protecting object creators from their work being copied across the metaverse http://www.metaverseroadmap.org/– obviously the asset servers don’t talk to one another. More experimentation is definitely in order.
Why is inter-grid travel such a metaverse changer? Because it is going to pose all sorts of questions in terms of control over one’s virtual identity, interoperability between immersive world platforms and how to protect the rights of creative people and programmers. Could it be that in a few years my level 80 gnome mage from World of Warcraft could be an avatar option for me at a SecondLife or OpenSim event? Could Pandora my OpenSim avatar take educators on tours that could include destinations in Second Life or games platforms or browser overlay platforms or Augmented Reality? It’s a brave new metaverse full of possibilities and it was exciting to experience it first person today.