Connecting the Virtual World with the Real World

I remember back when I played Everquest all day long instead of going to class, that it was annoying having to log out of the game to check email, or send an IM to a friend. I mentioned several times how Everquest should have a built in program to allow you access to other programs while still logged in. For example, you're running around killing rats and snakes, and then you decide to check you email, so you run over to the nearest pub, drink some Bog Juice and jump on a computer in the back room. You access the computer, a little window opens, Voila, you're on the WWW. This is exactly what Ludicorp is talking about at ETCON. It's about time.

What happens when you expose the mechanisms for interaction with a massive multiplayer online game as a set of web services APIs and simple out-of-application interfaces for end users? The state of the game world, maintained by a set of server-side processes, becomes a model shared across multiple platforms from which the game world can be accessed. This proliferation of accessibility allows for interactions, which are not confined to a single client, platform or even network, and allows subtler, more pervasive modes of mixing game action and awareness with web, instant messaging and mobile experiences.

RSS feeds include files and remote scripting and can pull data from the game world onto a player's blog or into their own custom-designed game start page. And the same logic can be applied to other applications, allowing interactions between users to transcend the application where their relationship was established. IM bridging -- through 'proxybots' -- allows users to chat with their in-application buddies over more mainstream messaging architectures or perform simple commands and queries without loading the client software.

Finally, using a RESTian interface, developer-users in the community can come up with their own applications and make those available to everyone, creating the possibility of ubiquitous availability over the net's heterogeneous patchwork of platforms.

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