History of the Metaverse (1993–2003)

Moveton
3 min readAug 23, 2021

Recently I have posted an article about future of metaverse. Now it looks logically to dive into the past of it (let’s give it a try at least, since I would not mention all the projects on the metaverse, only those I decided to).

MOO

I would say that it started with a MOO in 1993, which was text-based online virtual reality system to which multiple users (players) are connected at the same time. It was and actually is something pretty out of that world, since one of the most distinguishing features of a MOO is that its users can perform object-oriented programming within the server, ultimately expanding and changing how the server behaves to everyone. Examples of such changes include authoring new rooms and objects, creating new generic objects for others to use, and changing the way the MOO interface operates. What does that mean at all? Frankly, that was a crazy and unexpected idea and implementation for that period of time! And I believe it started all the things.

Blaxxun

blaxxun was founded in August 1995 with its sales/marketing offices in San Francisco, CA. It developed various 3D browsers and multi-user server platforms. Customers included BMW (“3D Car Configurator”), Deutsche Bank (“Virtual Shareholder Meeting”), IBM (3D Notebook Demo), Canal+ (“Virtual Paris”), Siemens, Intel, and many other major brands. The company existed for about 7 years, however it made its history due to the top-tier clients it cooperated with.

There

There is a 3D online virtual world created by Will Harvey and Jeffrey Ventrella. There Inc. was founded in the spring of 1998. There is a venue for socializing with less role-playing than is typically found in MMORPGs. Billed on its homepage as “…an online getaway where you can hang out with your friends and meet new ones…”, There defines itself as a service providing a shared experience that allows people to interact in an online society. As of There’s reopening in May, 2012, the virtual world is only open to ages 18 and older. Each new member can enter the community by choosing a unique name and a male or female avatar. The avatar’s name and gender are permanently set, but various attributes such as hair color and style, head and body shapes, skin and eye color, clothing, etc. can be changed as desired.

Second Life

One of the top-tier projects IMO. Second Life is an online virtual world, developed and owned by the San Francisco-based firm Linden Lab and launched on June 23, 2003. The virtual world can be accessed freely via Linden Lab’s own client software or via alternative third-party viewers. Second Life users, also called residents, create virtual representations of themselves, called avatars, and are able to interact with places, objects and other avatars.

Since its debut in 2003, Second Life has been referred to by various popular culture media, including literature, television, film and music. In addition, various personalities in such media have themselves used or employed Second Life for both their own works and for private purposes.

Much of the published research conducted in Second Life is associated with education and learning. Unlike computer games, Second Life does not have a pre-defined purpose and allows for highly realistic enactment of real life activities online.[190] One such study tested the usefulness of SL as an action learning environment in a senior course for management information systems students.[190] Another presented a case study in which university students were tasked with building an interactive learning experience using SL as a platform. Both problem-based learning and constructionism acted as framing pedagogies for the task, with students working in teams to design and build a learning experience which could be possible in real life.

To Be Continued . . .

Sources:

  1. https://okrepkyi.medium.com/future-of-metaverse-52e537ccf2e1
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOO
  3. https://www.prod.there.com/
  4. https://www.lindenlab.com/releases/infographic-10-years-of-second-life
  5. http://www.weburbanist.com/2007/06/17/top-3-look-alike-avatars-and-people-from-second-life-to-real-life/
  6. https://community.secondlife.com/blogs

--

--