You may not have heard of LudoCraft, a small games designer responsible for the realXtend engine, but it wants to get to know you. In fact, it wants you to throw your next industry convention or cultural expo in its open-source virtual world.
Pixels and Policy takes a look at how one company is banking on an increase in virtual business conferencing in 2010.
From the article:
Virtual Expo is built on the open source virtual world platform
realXtend. The main difference to many other currently popular virtual
worlds is that in realXtend everyone can build their own virtual world
and control it.
Also essential in Virtual Expo is the global avatar created in
realXtend. The avatar can be easily moved between different worlds.
Until now one has had to create an avatar and a user account for every
virtual world separately.
Here's the thing about virtual worlds: No matter how "open source" they feel, you can only edit as much as the game developer will allow.
This stifles creativity when it comes to the larger applications of virtual worlds, requiring companies to either contract out for their own private world or conform to the requirements of dominant worlds like Second Life.
What makes LudoCraft's virtual world so interesting is that it allows every client to create their own personal vision of a convention Valhalla while requiring potential attendees to register one persistent avatar. This means that GothicSerpentX can attend five different conventions in five different worlds without recreating his avatar each time.
What are the real-world applications of this technology? Well, for tech-savvy conventions, why not save money and host your convention in the Metaverse instead of in tax-happy major cities like Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.?
This also opens up a "democratizing" effect for smaller movements that suffer from a fan base spread worldwide or a small core of committed Phillips Crab Sandwich maniacs. These groups, once to divided or small to rent out an entire convention center, can establish the most grandiose banquet halls imaginable, all for one low fee.
Are virtual conventions poised to give competition to real-world events? Would you attend a convention hosted only in the Metaverse?