1 Avatar to rule them all

12 10 2007

Linden Labs and IBM are teaming up to create open standards for virtual worlds, which should allow movement between multiple environments by a single avatar:

At the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo at San Jose, Calif., the two companies are announcing plans to develop open standards that will allow avatars to roam from one virtual community to the next. The goal is let a person create a digital alter-ego that can travel to many virtual worlds, keeping the same name, look and even digital currency.

It’s an idea that’s been talked about a lot; I’m glad someone’s getting on with having a go at it. Will it use SL avatars by default, or a new model entirely? Personally I’d be glad to see new ones; SL’s defaults have always been a bit lumpy and awkward.

The companies speak of “a truly interoperable 3D Internet.” Think of it as passports for avatars. So that pink-headed cutie you made for Second Life can also take up residence in There.com, The Lounge, Virtual Laguna Beach and Entropia, for example.

…assuming the other companies involved all sign up for the open standards idea. It would be nice if they did, but there would be a cost to them all in doing so. Worth it, I’d say, though: barrelling through VLB with your SL wings and furry outfit could be quite a laugh.

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