Friday, April 13, 2007

Onder Skall's criteria for virtual worlds

Onder Skall of SL Game Park gives a meta-mega post of criteria for virtual worlds (Second Life if the standard) and their histories.

His big three pivotal points of SL-likeness:

Real money must move in and out of the “virtual” economy freely. RMT (Real-Money Trading) is designed in, not forbidden by TOS.

Users must be able to create unique content and retain ownership over it
. Things like scripting and accepting uploads are important here. Multimedia is a bonus. We must be able to control the rights to our content.

The world must be persistent, and the users able to change it
. Residents like being able to build the world themselves, and don’t need somebody stepping in and erasing their work.

+ links to archival video of
AlphaWorld, Furcadia, and others.

I don’t agree with Onder’s big three entirely. No one does ;-). But #3 about persistence and impact of user play appears, to my eyes, to be a universal if we are talking about virtual world design…but already there are qualifications if non-sandbox worlds are included. Anyway, have a go and add to the list.

Raph Koster for the heads up on this.