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As for the definition of what the Metaverse is I certainly don't think it is anything like a Minecraft where one has to search for resources to make things, and that is what Dual Universe is from what I read and that is basically an MMO and not a Metaverse in my view. The closest we have ever come to a true Metaverse is Opensim where no one need be dependant on a proprietary platform owned by a commercial enterprise. Opensim is open source and can be used by anyone without obeying the self-serving TOS of a company like Linden Lab. And yet commercial Opensim grids can and do exist along side private worlds and the neat thing is they can connect via Hypergrid or choose not to, which ever. Now that, to me, is the closest yet to a true Metaverse. The rest are all walled gardens of one kind or another so I don't think it is as important what you can actually do in a virtual world to meet any definition of what a Metaverse is but how it is able to connect with other worlds and without obligation to any central authority. Opensim is decentralized by its very nature and grid managers answer only to public opinion which they can pay heed to or ignore at any possible cost to their reputation as a grid. And if you run a commercial grid based on Opensim and want to attract users, renters and merchants public opinion can make or break you. Moreover, Opensim has completely independent currency in the form of Gloebit that can be used on any grid as well as in-world currency if the grid owner chooses. And finally, there is Kitely market that can deliver purchased products to any grid that permits it. Some grids even have Bitcoin! I tend to agree with Aliasi Stonebender above who said: "If you cannot do arbitrary things with arbitrary avatars, in a world that can be constructed on the fly (not premade assets), then it fails in any comparison to Second Life as a "metaverse"." A true Metaverse, IMO, has to be like the Internet itself where everything is interconnected by design and only walled off or separated by individual user choice. And whatever one wants to do in their world the tools to do it should make most things possible.
More coverage of the InWorldz closure and following events, new grids and where the refugees have gone. See
Perhaps I wouldn't mind the high cost of Second Life if a big investment was being made in the platform itself rather than Sansar which I suspect is doomed to fail anyway (Sansar centralized while everything seems to be moving towards decentralization and Blockchain). However, that said, I have reluctantly come to accept the land focused business model of Second Life as a necessary evil (coughs!) that actually helps SL limit the amount of land available and thus keeps land barons in business, another necessary evil if users would rather not commit to a high setup fee and can drop the land anytime without loss. At the same time I can see why Opensim never really took off either, and this is a lesson for Linden Lab too! Land costs have often been cited as good reason to move to Opensim but what seems partly to have prevented SL residents from doing that in any great numbers is that they have too much invested in Second Life inventories and well established relationships. Even the fact Second Life is expensive still hasn't caused an exodus to Sansar either and likely never will given the widely held view that SL users are being ripped off to finance other platforms while they can only hope Linden Lab will continue to support SL, let alone improve it. I hear all the time that SL and OS can't be improved much more now or perhaps the developers just don't want to work on it any more (the article quoted would suggest that) but, together, SL and OS still has a big user base that are not showing signs of going anywhere so why not try to make the platform fundementally better I ask? Even if things like voxel terrains and water surfaces are difficult or near impossible to implement in SL/OS surely it is high time some fundamental redevelopment took place and a new platform design that takes what is good about SL/OS, and works for so many people, and build a genuine SL2 instead of ignoring none-VR desktop users wishes and just looking at them as a cash cow until the old platform dies a slow painful death? Imagine SL2 or even OS2? There is still a huge user base with inventories and relationship to be invited in. Personally I wouldn't hesitate for a moment if I find I still have access to my friends and customers and, of course, to my virtual dollars and my accumulated and PAID FOR inventory.
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Mar 9, 2018