I once had this dream where my friends and I were hiking in the mountains. We stumbled on a mansion and explored inside. Upstairs, we found a coffin with Dracula in it. Dracula sat up and looked at us. We screamed and ran outside. Started running up the hill back to the trail. Dracula chasing us from behind. Then in front of us appeared a minotaur. Great, a minotaur in front, Dracula behind us. We screamed for help. Suddenly, missiles came out of nowhere, aimed at Dracula. A Gundam unit was flying over us giving us air support. Then from the other side, more missiles. A mech from MechWarrior was attacking the minotaur. Awesome. We were saved.
You ever wonder what would happen if all these characters really came together? We had a fun little thread a long time ago about a battle royale. Who would win if you had Jedis, X-Men, Ninjas, and Elves going at it with each other? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Well, it might happen.
I found a funny post about IBM and Second Life’s efforts to make virtual worlds link up with each other, written by Nicholas Carr.
I’m not sure that IBM and Linden have fully thought through the consequences of bringing the globalization ethic to the virtual realm. About five minutes after the gates come down, all the residents of Second Life will have been made the slaves of powerful Warcraft clans. Peace-loving cyber-utopias will see their unnatural resources strip-mined by invading tribes. Economies will collapse, currencies turn to dust. Corporate headquarters – like the one IBM has in Second Life – will be looted and burned. Vast, globe-spanning empires will rise and then, as decadence sets in, fall. Man’s entire bloody history will play out at Internet speed.
I’m sure it won’t be that extreme, though it’s fun to think about. If this initiative succeeds, there will probably be criteria that regulates which worlds can connect with each other, and what characters are allowed to do in each other’s worlds. And as well, it would take the commitment of the virtual world itself to even participate. WoW is a total cash cow for Blizzard, and they’ve put a lot of effort into creating cool worlds with cool stories. Do they really want to see a bunch of gun-toting Matrix agents running around in there?
But yes, it’s fun to think about it. The next step after that is to link these virtual worlds to the real world somehow. :) Paintball and laser tag would never be the same. Yeah, I know, just a pipe dream.
The original post that Nick Carr linked to is here.