In the 2010s, VR roared back into life with Oculus, Vive, WebGL and Hololens. Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite gave millions a deep drink of the potential of the Metaverse. Facebook – renamed Meta – bet the house on the Metaverse. Where is the Metaverse headed? We hear insights from forty years of experts.
In episode five, co-hosts Tony Parisi and Mark Pesce explore the first decade of the Millennium, when the Metaverse blossomed into the foundation for a new generation of video games such as ‘Ultima Online’, and big data ‘digital twins’ like Google Earth. It’s “Game On!” for Tony and Mark – and on and on and on and on…
Have a play with Mark’s ‘WebEarth‘ – a real-time 3D model of the world, up and running 25 years after he created it…
In the second half of the 1990s, VRML became the platform of choice for ‘virtual worlds’ filled with ‘avatars’ – digital representations of real people. The Web goes big – and stays big – yet VRML crashes back to Earth, as Second Life becomes the last best hope for the Metaverse. It’s all melodrama, all the time, in ‘Days of our Second Lives’!
Tony and Mark – supported by a global community of technologists, enthusiasts and dreamers – brought 3D to the brand-new Web with VRML. This episode features Owen Rowley, Neil Redding, Linda Jacobson, Brian Behlendorf, John McCrea, Coco Conn — and Neal Stephenson.
In our second episode, co-hosts Mark Pesce and Tony Parisi discover that the technology behind the Metaverse has its origins in the darkest days of the Cold War. This ‘Military Metaverse’ gave birth to the Internet, transforming warfare – and, a generation later, online gaming. Dr. Michael Zyda explains how he forged the connection between deep military tech – SIMNET – and the latest online games.
JCR Licklider – “Lick” to his friends and colleagues – is little-known but absolutely an essential figure in the development of modern computing.
NEW SERIES! In episode one, Mark and co-host Tony Parisi travel back more than a century to uncover the roots of the Metaverse. From pioneers Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, creators of “Habitat”, the first massively multiplayer online environment, we learn the Metaverse has never been about technology – but always about people.
Have a read through Tony Parisi’s “The Seven Rules of the Metaverse” here. Read E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” here. Listen to William Gibson reading an abridged version of Neuromancerhere. Wondering what Lucasfilm’s Habitat looked like? Watch the promo video here. Read Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer’s amazing, prescient paper, “The Lessons of Lucasfilm’s Habitat” here. Want to play Habitat? You can – in your web browser. Just go here.
Big thanks to the wonderful folks who voiced those historical evocations of Metaverse: Genevieve Bell, Mark Jeffrey, Paul Godwin and David Baxter.