Aug 21

Connecting the Virtual Worlds

Category: Standards, Virtual Worlds by Stone Culdesac

This is what HiPiHi, a virtual world in China similar to Second Life, wants to do, connect the virtual worlds by creating standards in hardware and software to allow development that will work on them all. This sounds great and all, especially if you can pop into Second Life and then jump over into HiPiHi, but, this will surely not be easy, some virtual worlds will be resistant, for fear of loosing avatars to a competing virtual world, as will some users. But, if everything was easy, what fun would it be?

“First, HiPiHi will cooperate with global leaders in the Internet and communication industry to establish a set of relevant hardware and software standards for the development of the 3D platform. Second, HiPiHi will cooperate with other major 3D virtual worlds to finalize these standards, and bring the possibility for users to interact and transact between different virtual worlds. Lastly, HiPiHi will actively build its “Global Market Partnership Project”, “Third Party Developer Project” and “Community Partnership Project”, to establish a HiPiHi virtual world global value chain. ”

Last month we reported that ngi was forming a virtual worlds software development division. It’s already working to develop Second Life applications, so there are certainly money ties between HiPiHi and other major virtual worlds. It remains to be seen which other virtual worlds will want to collaborate with HiPiHi on standards.

Hui Xu, founder and CEO of HiPiHi, anticipates the future of this global strategy. “It is just a beginning of the globalization of the 3D virtual world. It is our pleasure to cooperate with our strategic partners such as ngi group to witness the birth of China-oriented virtual world and contribute to its growth.”

Satoshi Koike, CEO of ngi group is also happy with their cooperation. “We are very glad to participate in this fast-growing and promising HiPiHi virtual world. We believe that the cooperation between ngi group and HiPiHi Ltd. will become a milestone in the development of virtual worlds. It is an innovative cooperation in the global virtual world market.” Source: HiPiHi Announces Global Strategy, Investment from ngi

This of course will bring all kinds of problems to be dealt with, as Metaversed said, “The second goal of cross-platform interaction is exciting, but one has to wonder what oddities might develop when a virtual economy intersects directly with another. What would happen if I could buy Linden Dollars with Therebux, which are available at various degrees of discount?” And as Techcrunch mentions,

Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life has recently taken some steps towards opening its platform, including open sourcing the code for the Second Life client, however the Second Life world has remained closed to 3rd party servers. Linden Lab has previously said that they have “a vision of a globally interconnected grid with clients and servers published and managed by different groups” (indeed, they called it inevitable) so it will be interesting to see whether they join HiPiHi’s initiative. Source: HiPiHi Seeks To Standardize 3D Worlds And Develop Interoperability

So, even the Lindens have talked of opening up Second Life to allow others to house some of their servers to make a truly distributed environment, but how far would they be willing to go to work with other virtual worlds?

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  1. [...] Connecting the Virtual Worlds This is what HiPiHi, a virtual world in China similar to Second Life, wants to do, connect the virtual worlds by creating standards in hardware and software to allow development that will work on them all. This sounds great and all, especially if you can pop into Second Life and then jump over into HiPiHi, but, this will surely not be easy, some virtual worlds will be resistant, for fear of loosing avatars to a competing virtual world, as will some users. But, if everything was easy, what fun would it be? [...]

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