Social VR/Virtual Worlds Blogger
- Sep 20, 2018
- Winnipeg, CANADA
This is AWESOME stuff, thank you! I'm probably not covering those older virtual worlds which have already closed, beyond those I have already on the blog. But this is great stuff, I hadn't heard of most of these virtual worlds before, and I consider myself fairly knowledgable about themI just dug through my old backups, trying to find my old list of virtual worlds. I used to explore weird virtual worlds regularly, years ago. It felt like exploring a sparsely populated, half-forgotten frontier. RyanSchultz 's list is good, but it feels incomplete to me. I know I have a bookmarks folder with dozens of virtual worlds in it in my old backups, and that might help complete his list. I just need to find it.
After a little digging, I realized my memory for names is horrible. What I wrote before was wrong. When I said Paperclip, I meant Croquet, and the world with blue in the name is actually called Open Cobalt. A couple of more virtual worlds in this vein were Open Wonderland, and NASA's WolrdWind. Also, Wiggleplanet was a virtual world that tried to do education with emotionally intelligent AI. These worlds were academic in nature, so they were graphically crude by most standards.
Jibe was a platform that kind of bridged the gap to help people make virtual worlds in Unity. It's not exactly a virtual world, but it lets you make virtual worlds easier. The company that made it worked hard to court the academic OpenSim crowd, but I don't think it took off, for a lot of reasons (to start with, their price point was too high). If we include Jibe, though, we would also include things like Project Darkstar, which was an MMORPG engine made by Oracle.
A lot of the stuff I'm listing here was either made by, or targetted at academics. I used to be an academic in SL, and from what I can tell, most academics who continue to use virtual worlds moved on to Open Sim when the academic discount in SL went away. Most of the academics who are still doing interesting things eventually moved on to Unity 3D from there. I don't get the impression that Jibe took off with them, because they all kind of just make standalone virtualizations now, rather than virtual worlds. Some great non-acadmic SL devs moved on to Unity, as well. I attended a panel on Vive development last year at MAG Labs, and it was run by an ex-SL content creator who was doing some cool Vive stuff in Unity. I think most people who go that route start with VR Chat and get more advanced from there, until they are developing in Unity.
Here's a pretty good timeline of virtual worlds, from wikipedia. It has holes, but it's a good start.
Anyway, I'll keep digging through my old backups and let you know if I find anything cool.