Today is a big day. We’ve released a feature that I personally think is highly significant for both Metaplace and for virtual worlds in general. As of now, you can embed a virtual world on pretty much any webpage, just like any other widget. It’s a small embed code, much like a YouTube video — and in fact, it’s smaller than a YouTube video in terms of download size. And because of the capabilities Metaplace offers, you can do some very interesting things with it:
- You can use it as a gathering space for your community — on forums, for example, or as this user has done, as a way to foster community for her comics shop.
- You can make it the central gathering spot for a Ning community, as 3DSquared has done for the Digital Workforce Intensives in Louisiana.
- If you’re a musician, you can hold your live shows right there on your site, complete with streaming audio and an audience, as Grace McDunnough plans to do.
- Over time, crazier uses will come about, such as this experiment in using virtual worlds to annotate the real world by embedding a Metaplace world on a geolocation in Google Maps.
There are some limitations yet, of course; you can do communication between the world and the web, but it’s still a bit hard. There’s no SNS apps just yet. And yes, you do need a Metaplace account at the moment. But as more usecases emerge and we get more virtual worlds splattered all over the Net, I expect we’ll see these limitations fall away as we keep marching towards making virtual worlds a first-class citizen of the web.
I’ll be talking about this and other virtual world issues live with Cory Ondrejka (EMI, formerly Linden Lab) at 2pm Pacific on TheStage — and I will have it embedded right here! In the meantime, stop by my place in Metaplace, embedded here using the freshly released WordPress plugin by Dara Roesner (Miki in Metaplace), which makes it incredibly easy to drop a world onto a WordPress post or page:
Press release after the jump:
METAPLACE LAUNCHES EMBEDDABLE VIRTUAL WORLDS
An Industry First: Anyone Can Now Easily Place User-Generated Worlds on Any Website, Blog or Forum
SAN DIEGO, CA: June 30, 2008: Metaplace, the open virtual worlds platform, today announced that any virtual world created on Metaplace can now be easily embedded into any webpage, enabling virtual worlds to become as pervasive as web applications. This release is an industry breakthrough, heralding the first time that fully interactive and customizable virtual worlds can be accessed and featured anywhere on the Internet.
“15 years ago, if you wanted anything ‘online’ you went to CompuServe or AOL and you got what they let you have,” said Richard Bartle, writer, professor and game researcher best known for being one of the pioneers of the massively multiplayer online games. “Nowadays, the World Wide Web enables anyone to create independent web sites and view those of other people. More recently, if you wanted to develop or play a virtual world, you went to World of Warcraft or Second Life and you got what they let you have. As of today, Metaplace allows anyone to create independent virtual worlds and play those of other people.”
Metaplace extends the functionality of virtual worlds by allowing users to essentially copy and paste their Metaplace virtual world into a blog or webpage. Users will be able to showcase their creativity, promote and host virtual events, and share their art, games and products from their virtual world onto their existing web presence. Also, since Metaplace’s user-created virtual worlds are Flash-based, visitors to the site can enter an embedded virtual world by simply clicking on it, as there is no need to download any software.
“This significant industry step breaks down the remaining barriers between virtual worlds and the rest of the web, allowing worlds to be easily accessed and shared anywhere,” added Raph Koster, President and founder of Metaplace. “Metaplace users can now add their virtual worlds to webpages with the same ease that they add a YouTube video.”
“Metaplace is a powerful tool for helping young people prepare for careers in the video game and digital media industries,” said Spencer Zuzolo, President of 3D Squared.”This platform allows us to develop the creativity and collaboration skills of our students in a transformative new way. Metaplace is allowing our non-profit workforce development organization to train leaders for Louisiana’s burgeoning video game and digital media segment. The addition of the remote embed feature allows us to seamlessly integrate our Metaplace worlds into our online community,” Zuzolo said.
“With this release, Metaplace will enable me to easily integrate my virtual world across my social networks and across the major blogging platforms,” commented Sarah “Kitty” Ray, a Metaplace world owner whose shop, Comic Emporium in Panama City, FL, is one of the premier sources for comics, games and collectibles. “Now, we’re able to feature our virtual comic and collectibles store at the center of our web presence and interact and transact with our visitors in the most immersive way.”
The ability to embed Metaplace virtual worlds is available for free to all registered users of Metaplace at www.metaplace.com, and can be seen in use at:
Note to Editors: Cory Ondrejka, previously CTO of Linden Lab (the makers of SecondLife), will be appearing in Metaplace at 2 p.m. PDT on June 30 to discuss the future of virtual worlds with Raph Koster. This discussion will be accessible using Metaplace’s embedded functionality on the blogs of both Cory Ondrejka (ondrejka.blogspot.com) and Raph Koster (www.raphkoster.com) as well as the Metaplace website (www.metaplace.com/TheStage/play).
Metaplace enables anyone to easily create their own unique virtual world through the first open virtual world platform that harnesses the power of the Internet. Metaplace envisions a network of user-created worlds spanning community to games to education to business and forming a web-based ecosystem for collaboration, socializing and conducting commerce.
Metaplace is led by President and founder Raph Koster, recognized as a visionary thinker for virtual environments and online community. Prior to founding Metaplace, Raph was the lead designer on the original Ultima Online and chief creative officer at Sony Online. He is the author of “A Theory of Fun for Game Design”.
Founded in 2007, Metaplace is based in San Diego, CA. Metaplace is a venture-backed company that has raised over $9 million from leading investors: Charles River Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.
Mark de la Vina
Tel: +1 415 786 0759