Twelve years ago today I blogged a video by Gary Hayes visiting 50 virtual worlds. Reading Hayes’ accompanying 2008 blogpost which is still online, I wonder what today’s VR trends and hotspots are. How well is the virtual control of the real and the fully virtual a seamless experience these days? How far along are we to the Metaverse?

SecondLife still exists, not surprisingly as it was profitable right from the start, but I have no idea what it has evolved into. At some point I rented a bit of land there, to use as a sandbox. Does it still feel mostly empty?
What is the current status and role of immersive virtual worlds?

Are there any AR worlds that provide a seamless experience between the physical and the digital? I do regularly see people on the streets of our hometown trying to catch Pokemons, but as with a lot of these VR/AR things that seems gimmicky to me mostly. Last year at the Energie.Digital conference in Germany I saw a bit more of Microsoft’s mixed reality Hololens, and while some use cases were convincing, others seemed contrived. Yet at the same time there are many moments where I would love to see a much more seamless transition from the material to the virtual (which is partly why I got myself a Nova2: to digitise my handwriting), and bringing the virtual into the material, or making online exchanges much more immersive.

Digital networks and human networks are alike in their distributedness, and completely embracing that overlap for tool design is a source of enormous agency, imo.

Where does the yellow brick road to The Street of the Metaverse run these days?

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