An interactive, collaborative timeline of the history and development of virtual worlds, created by Annie Ok. Perpetual work in progress. Please contact Annie to apply to be a contributor: http://annieok.com
Created by xantherus on Jul 6, 2008
Last updated: 03/09/11 at 07:24 PM
Tags: virtual metaverse MMORPG MMO immersive immersive "virtual world" "virtual reality" "multiplayer online gaming"
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that its highly anticipated PlayStation®Home Beta service for PLAYSTATION® 3 (PS3™) will become available for all PS3 users around the world on December 11, 2008. Following the successful completion of the closed beta service, PlayStation Home’s open beta service will continue to evolve with new features and functionality.
PlayStation Home is a ground-breaking 3D social gaming community available on PS3 that allows users to interact, communicate and share gaming experiences. By leveraging the power of PS3, PlayStation Home delivers overwhelming visual graphics and rich gaming social experiences only possible on the PS3 platform. Within PlayStation Home, users can create and customize their own unique avatars and explore the virtual community in real time where they can communicate freely through text or voice chat. PlayStation Home users will not only be able to enjoy variety of entertainment content such as mini-games, videos and special events along with their friends, but will also be able to create their own community by using the “Club” feature to create clubs with other PlayStation Home users who share the same interests. PlayStation Home also allows groups of users to launch directly into their favourite online games together from PlayStation Home.
Lively no more
11/19/2008 05:55:00 PM
In July we launched Lively in Google Labs because we wanted users to be able to interact with their friends and express themselves online in new ways. Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it's the best way to create groundbreaking products that make a difference to people's lives. But we've also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off.
That's why, despite all the virtual high fives and creative rooms everyone has enjoyed in the last four and a half months, we've decided to shut Lively down at the end of the year. It has been a tough decision, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business. Lively.com will be discontinued at the end of December, and everyone who has worked on the project will then move on to other teams.
We'd encourage all Lively users to capture your hard work by taking videos and screenshots of your rooms.
Posted by The Lively Team
Disney Online, part of the Disney Interactive Media Group, invites guests to depart the mainland and set off on unforgettable journeys in the meadows of Pixie Hollow. Today marks the official opening of Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow ( www.PixieHollow.com), an online virtual world where guests can create their very own Fairy to take flight alongside Tinker Bell and tons of Fairy friends. Inside Pixie Hollow, Fairies gather to help bring about the change of seasons through meeting friends, playing games and collecting items in nature.
"Pixie Hollow is an online destination where fans of all ages can become a Fairy and go to live in a magical world of Tinker Bell and her friends," said Steve Parkis, senior vice president, Disney Online. "More than 7 and a half million Fairies have already been created and, until now, have been all dressed up with no place to go. Now, in Pixie Hollow, Fairies can join their friends, take flight and live their very own Fairy adventures."
Features of Pixie Hollow include:
-- Play Talent Games -- Help fellow Fairies bring about the change of seasons by playing talent mini games; help fish travel upstream with Silvermist and the other water Fairies, or light up fireflies with Iridessa and the light-talent fairies
-- Collect Curious Things -- Find and collect useful items like leaves, flowers, and rare mainland trinkets; use them as ingredients for crafting, to shop in the treetops and to earn badges
-- Craft Incredible Creations -- Create your own Fairy fashions and accessories by playing crafting games
-- Earn Special Badges -- Earn colorful badges that showcase your adventures and accomplishments in your personal Leaf Journal. Plus, when you earn a badge, everyone around you will see your accomplishments
"LucasArts and BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today announced the development of Star Wars®: The Old Republic™, a story-driven massively multiplayer online PC game set in the timeframe of the Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ franchise. Star Wars: The Old Republic, being developed and published by BioWare and LucasArts, represents an innovative approach to interactive entertainment, featuring immersive storytelling, dynamic combat and intelligent companion characters.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic, players will explore an age thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader when war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire divides the galaxy. Players can choose to play as Jedi, Sith, or a variety of other Star Wars roles, defining their personal story and determining their path down the light or dark side of the Force. Along the way, players will befriend courageous companions who will fight at their side or possibly betray them, based on the players’ actions. Players can also choose to team up with friends to battle enemies and overcome incredible challenges using dynamic Star Wars combat."
The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time is a partnership between IBM and the Palace Museum in Beijing, China. For more than five hundred years, the Ming and Qing emperors ruled China from the palaces of the Forbidden City. The art and architectural treasures from this period are the cultural heart of modern China.
The principal goal of the project is to provide the means for a worldwide audience to celebrate and explore Chinese culture and history. As an IBM Corporate Citizenship project, the project marries world-class subject matter with world-class technology innovation. It is a premiere showcase of IBM's leadership in virtual worlds and cultural preservation.
The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time is the world's first online virtual world dedicated to a country's cultural heritage. This is presented as a three-dimensional replica of the square-kilometer palace grounds called The Virtual Forbidden City. The project partners' goal was to create an experience that is as authentic as possible by being true to important Chinese principles of balance and harmony.
Rather than being an isolating virtual experience, the Virtual Forbidden City allows visitors to see and interact with each other and with a wide range of volunteers, staff, and automated characters. To welcome the broadest range of visitors, a simple, easy to use interface guides interactions with the Virtual Forbidden City. As they explore the Virtual Forbidden City, visitors can choose to simply observe the buzz of activity, participate in activities that provide insights into important aspects of the Qing dynasty, or even take guided tours that uncover new insights into the stories of the Forbidden City.
In addition, the Virtual Forbidden City also provides an unequalled way for people to plan a visit to the real Palace Museum. Visitors to the Palace Museum will be much better able to find their way and to understand the significance of places and things they encounter because of their experiences in the Virtual Forbidden City.
What is ExitReality for?
* View any webpage in 3D... every website is now a virtual world
* Turn your standard 2D web page into your own unique 3D space
* Meet and chat with people in 3D
* Search and explore thousands of online 3D communities and meet new people!
What Can I Do?
* Convert, decorate and share your Social Network Page in 3D
* Collect cool objects to add to your 3D space or apartment
* Create a 3D Avatar, chat with friends and meet new people
* Invite people to your virtual space
* Host real time parties and events at your online space
Hangout launched today their room-based, web-embedded and cross-platform 3D online virtual world in closed beta. "On Hangout, teens interact with their friends as they do in the offline world- whether it be watching favorite videos on YouTube, listening to music, sharing Facebook photos, engaging with popular brands and products that they love, playing games or making music, or just chatting "in person". Kids can now create their own personal 3D rooms leveraging real goods and clothes and hang out with their friends in their own spaces." [from Press Release]
Journeys is a social world themed by real world trips. We mashed Yahoo! Maps, Pictures from Flickr and more to create a casual virtual world that bridge to the real one we know and love.
Become part of Star Trek®: The Star Trek universe will appear for the first time in a massively multiplayer online game. Everything from the elegant domes of Starfleet Academy to the ancient temples of Vulcan, from the towers of Qo’noS to the Fire Caves of Bajor, from the mysterious Mutara Nebula to the unexplored voids of deep space, all will be represented in stunning 3-D graphics. Immerse yourself in the future of the Trek universe as it moves into the 25th century: a time of shifting alliances and new discoveries.
Adventure in the Final Frontier: Explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations in an expanding vast universe. Make contact with alien races, discover resources and uncover mysteries that will change the future of the Star Trek universe.
You Are the Captain: Command your own starship as a Federation Captain or a Klingon Warrior. Outfit it with the systems that you need to make your mark in the galaxy. Customize your ship as you see fit. Recruit, train and mold your crew into an elite force for exploration and combat.
Surface, Shipboard and Deep Space Adventures: Command your vessel in thrilling space battles, or beam down to planets with your away team for face-to-face confrontations. Missions will take you and your friends into space, planetside and even inside starships!
Powered by the Cryptic Engine, Star Trek® Online will be developed for both console and PC formats. With customizable ships and characters from the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets, ground, space and shipboard gameplay and unique options for player-generated content set in the Star Trek universe, Star Trek Online is the MMOG that allows you to boldly go where no one has gone before!
The Open Grid Public Beta program is a Linden Lab sponsored opportunity for developers to make their virtual worlds interoperate with Second Life. Virtual world interoperability is enabled through the Open Grid Protocol, under development by the Architecture Working Group of Second Life residents.
This MMO takes the full-fledged, millions-strong community of Gaia Online and brings their fictional home to life in the form of a huge virtual world to be explored and enjoyed.
Players create Gaian versions of their own personalities, adventuring through stories, struggles, and challenges, discovering a world of rich characters and wild humor, all displayed with the visual of well-loved anime artwork.
Players can combine forces with other players, forming teams to claim fame and glory as they travel through the world, or they can play the game alone, braving each danger and challenge with only their own skill set to bring them through it.
But the world is not composed of only combat-oriented challenges. There are many ways to play in this world, whether doing favors for characters in the world, playing games, meeting at dance halls or in towns, watching movies together, meeting to race cars, or just simply exploring the landscape.
This MMO is a broad, new game in a widely-varying world that is FREE TO PLAY with NO DOWNLOAD required.
The MTV House is a virtual world where you can create your own avatar, explore rooms packed with interactive content and objects, meet friends and chat about music.
Google releases Lively Beta.
IBM and Linden Lab announced that research teams from the two companies successfully teleported avatars from the Second Life Preview Grid into a virtual world running on an OpenSim server, marking the first time an avatar has moved from one virtual world to another. It’s an important first step toward enabling avatars to pass freely between virtual worlds, something they’ve been working toward publicly since the formation of the Architecture Working Group in September 2007.
Meez Launches Virtual World - Meez Nation
a 'alpha test' outdoor environment build of Berlin City. A full scale replica of Berlin City Center, clicking on doors connects you to the Twinity Apartments.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is a massively-multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) based on the world and works of acclaimed author Robert E. Howard. In Age of Conan, players enter Hyboria with thousands of their friends and enemies to live, fight, and explore the dark and brutal world of King Conan.
SocioTown is a browser-based 3D social virtual world developed by Outside The Box Software (http://www.outsidetheboxsoftware.com).
Vivaty brings together your friends, photos, and videos in a personal virtual scene in the browser. Hang out and chat with Facebook friends, or jump from scene to scene to check out your friends’ latest creations.
First public release of realXtend, the open source virtual world platform
3DXPlorer is an online platform for designing interactive 3D web pages and virtual worlds including 3D spaces and 3D objects, in which web visitors can walk, visualize objects and interact as easily as they navigate through HTML pages, but in a 3D immersive mode.
Targeted to a wide range of users including creators, web designers, webmasters, application developers and even simple users, 3DXplorer helps creating 3D content that can be either a 3D window embedded inside a traditional website or full screen 3D immersive websites.
Designed for a wide range of applications, it can be used simply as a virtual show room in which visitors can visualize an interior design and feel an atmosphere, or in more sophisticated cases, used as an online interactive e-commerce tool, such as a sales configurator or an online collaborative platform to review product development.
SmallWorlds is a 3D virtual world that runs inside your web browser. It enables you to build your own room, house, or even your own world, and fill it with a wide variety of items and fun activities.
With your online friends and acquaintances, you can share experiences like playing games, watching YouTube videos, listening to your favourite band browsing through photo galleries, and so much more.
Twinity is a 3D online world that mashes up the real with the virtual world.
* Create the virtual you
* Build a digital home anywhere in the world
* Meet real people & hook up with friends
* Drop in on your friends and go out and have fun
Virtual World using the Opensim software. Central Grid was the 1st commercial Opensim grid.
Central Grid's mission is to provide a 3D virtual world where residents can interact and create their own experience in a safe law abiding manner.
Just Leap In: "A 3D World of Your Own"
Create a 3D world. Share your Photos & Videos. Add a soundtrack. Connect with friends. Share on the Web.
An evolving 3D social applet with web integration. It's a lightweight plugin for Windows and Mac.
Just Leap In supports true shader-driven graphics, physics, rich lighting, full sound, and a diverse range of immersive experiences that are usually associated with video games.
inDuality, a universal client for viewing virtual worlds in a Web browser. An alpha version of inDuality was first publicly demonstrated in October 2007 at the Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose. The demo showed teleporting between different virtual worlds that were running in a Web browser including: Blink 3D, Second Life, Flash and X3D. This was the first demonstration of Second Life running in a Web browser.
Metaplace is a software platform that democratizes the development of virtual worlds. The platform is developed by Areae, the company established by Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster. According to the official website, the platform is "client-agnostic", which means that virtual worlds developed on Metaplace can be accessed using any device that connects to the Web.
Novoking is designed and operated by Novoking (Beijing) technology Limited Co. in Beijing China.
Novoking was conceived by its founder & CEO Mr. Patrick Zha in Oct, 2005. According to Patrick's initiative, Novoking's mission is to build the largest 3D Chinese virtual world that allows users to create, build, communicate and live their dream thru the Bytes. The initial codename of this plan was "The Sun Plan", and the development team was named "The Sun Lab" in Nov. 2005 when it first setup. In April, 2007, "The Sun Lab" was registered officially as Novoking (Beijing) Technology Ltd Co". And in May, 2007, "The Sun Plan" was renamed as "Novoking", its official website is www.novoking.com and www.novoking.cn.
A 3D virtual world for interactive surfaces. Powered by Croquet
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Interactive media are highly complex and at high risk for loss as technologies rapidly become obsolete. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game. Second Life content participants include Life to the Second Power, Democracy Island and the International Spaceflight Museum. Partners: University of Maryland, Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Linden Lab.
WAR is an MMORPG based on Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting.
Home™ is a real-time 3D, networked community that serves as a meeting place for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) users from around the world, where they can interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share content and even build their own personal spaces. Home™ will be available as a free download from the PLAYSTATION®Store and will launch directly from the PS3™ system's Home Menu.
The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is the world's first and only MMOG based on the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Players can experience the most famous fantasy world of all time, exploring and adventuring their heroes through the vast reaches of Middle-earth in the fight against the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.
Experience Classic Tolkien: Meet famous characters like Gandalf and the Fellowship. Explore legendary locations like the Prancing Pony and Rivendell! Battle deadly enemies, including Nazgûl, Trolls, and Uruk-Hai!
Defeat the Shadows of Angmar: Join with the Fellowship and fight against the forces of Sauron. Confront the forces of the Nazgûl Witch-king in the North. Protect the Shire and root out evil on Weathertop.
Explore Ancient Lands: Journey through Middle-earth to collect valuable Tolkien lore, knowledge, and artifacts that bring your hero greater powers. Complete ambitious quests of courage and exploration that bestow compelling character traits.
BarbieGirls.com came out on April 24, 2007 and was created by the advertising agency Studiocom for the toy company Mattel. It is a controlled community, designed to provide a safe environment for girls around the world to interact.
Weblin is an avatar service that lets you chat with others as you surf the web. Through Weblin’s downloadable application, you can create an avatar, give it a name, and begin surfing the web. When you come across a site that has other Weblin members present, you’ll see their avatars walking around the bottom of your browser screen, chatting with each other.
“Myst Online: Uru Live” storyline continues to showcase new content for fans of the Myst franchise. On the game's official launch date, another never-before-seen world will debut. This new garden Age will feature an intricate, yet easily engaging, all-new multiplayer puzzle for players to solve. With its real-time storyline and ever-evolving world, “Myst Online: Uru Live” continues to provide an intrigue-driven, exploration-oriented interactive experience unlike any other massively multiplayer online game.
Michael Wright announces and releases the first alpha code of a Second-Life compatible simulator based on work done by the libsecondlife group. Evolves into a general platform for Virtual Worlds hosting backed by names such as Intel, IBM and a vibrant open source community.
vLES, the virtual Lower East Side, is one of MTV's virtual worlds.
HiPiHi is an online 3D virtual world game founded by Xu Hui and Rao Xuewei in Beijing in the People's Republic of China. It is the first Chinese virtual world game that allows virtual netizens to freely roam around. Users can explore, trade, communicate and create things in their virtual environment.
Blink 3D, a virtual worlds development platform developed by Pelican Crossing, Inc. Blink 3D went into open Beta in March 2005 and was launched in December 2006. Version 2.0 was released on June 27th 2008.
Blink 3D is based on Open Standards and allows a novice or professional to create stunning Web based virtual worlds.
Play Money explores the remarkable new phenomenon of MMORPGs, or Massively MultiPlayer Online Role-Playing Games, in which hundreds of thousands of players operate fantasy characters in virtual environments. With city-sized populations, these games generate their own cultures, governments, and social systems and, inevitably, their own economies, which spill over into the real world. The desire for virtual goods-magic swords, enchanted breastplates, and special, hard-to-get elixirs-has spawned a cottage industry of “virtual loot farmers”: people who play the games just to obtain fantasy goods that they can sell in the real world. The best loot farmers can make between six figures a year and six figures a month. Play Money is an extended walk on the weird side: a vivid snapshot of a subculture whose denizens were once the stuff of mere sociological spectacle but now-with computer gaming poised to eclipse all otherentertainments in dollar volume, and with the lines between play and work, virtual and real increasingly blurred-look more and more like the future.
The first avatars walk through the open source urban platform for creative work.
Development on an open source implementation of the Second Life networking protocol begins.
Rainbows End is a 2006 science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. It was awarded the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book is set in San Diego in 2025, in a variation of the fictional world Vinge explored in his 2002 Hugo-winning novella "Fast Times at Fairmont High" and 2004's "Synthetic Serendipity". Vinge has tentative plans for a sequel, picking up some of the loose threads left at the end of the novel.
The many technological advances depicted in the novel suggest that the world is undergoing ever-increasing change, perhaps destined for a technological singularity, a recurring subject in Vinge's writing (both fiction and non-fiction).
"Your hack was noticed. Back when I was young, you could have got a patent off it. Nowadays—"
"Nowadays, it should be worth a decent grade in a high-school
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (PC)
The defining pen-and-paper RPG becomes the ultimate massively-multiplayer online game as Turbine Entertainment and Atari bring the basement sensation into the light of computer screens all across the world. Dungeons & Dragons Online is centered on robust character advancement, challenging dungeon combat, meaningful guild politics and territorial control over major portions of the game world. Players choose and develop a character based on some of the iconic races and associated with D&D - after which they can socialize, find quests, group together and equip themselves for future battles. The game also lets players travel alone or in parties as they explore the seemingly endless dungeon complexes found beneath the world. Through the dungeons, players will engage in physical and magical combat with hideous foes straight from the pages of the Monster Manual rulebook.
Virtual MTV, more commonly known as vMTV, is a collection of virtual worlds under the MTV Networks umbrella.
vMTV includes seven separate virtual worlds, each based on an MTV television show.
Red Light Center (RLC) is a privately owned Massively Multi-User Reality (sm) site that was made available to the public early in 2006 by Utherverse Inc. Its tag line is "Live Your Fantasy".
Red Light Center is modeled after Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The online community site offers users virtual nightclubs, hotels, bars, movie theaters and stores. There is a virtual currency called Rays, which members can earn and use for services in the community.