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Info we recommend relative to the emerging 3D Web.

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Games, Platforms, Worlds

Active Worlds World's first open 3D chat and virtual reality world building platform, still being improved. Runs on MS Windows.
Barbie Girls Mattel's virtual world for Barbie owners. BG reached 3 million users in its first 60 days of operation, and growing at 50,000 users/day (Scientific American, July 2007). Great example of a successful mixed reality platform (for 2007).
Beyond Prototype open source virtual world platform.
Coke Studios A successful 2.5D online virtual world created for as a promotion for Coke Music and its partners.
Cosmic Blobs Dassault's award-winning 3D graphics software for kids. The beginning of "youth-created content" for the metaverse.
Cyworld A Korean social networking platform with the option of 2.5 dimensional homepages which can be decorated by virtual furniture, art, and music, all purchasable with virtual currency. Over 15 million users in 2005 (1/3 of Korea's population). Accessible by cell phone.
Everquest The first popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) to gain mainstream attention.
Google Earth A free-of-charge, downloadable virtual globe program. It maps the entire earth by pasting images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.
Habbo Hotel A 2.5D avatarized online game and chat community made by the Finnish Sulake Corporation. Currently one of the largest non-violent online game communities on the Internet, operating in 17 countries, and one of the fastest growing teen websites in the world.
Lineage A MMORPG developed in Korea. Highly popular throughout Asia.
MUPPETS A 3D collaborative virtual world to enable students to help each other learn Java programming.
O.S. Earth A global simulation serious game played by over 350,000 kids to date. What would a virtual version of this look like?
Peacemaker Award-winning public diplomacy, conflict resolution and development game. Challenges you to bring peace to the Middle East.
Perplex City A global treasure hunt alternative reality game. $200K first prize. Season 1 in 2006. By Mind Candy.
Playdo Major Swedish 2.5D avatarized chat platform, mostly for teens but not restricted to them. 300,000 users in 2006.
SciCentr Online science museum of the Cornell Theory Center. Includes SciFair, a science communication fair through which youth build their own virtual exhibits with the help of coaches.
Second Life The leading online 3D persistent world where players are encouraged to develop businesses and the only one where they own copyright on the content they create (simultaneously licensing it to Linden Lab, creators of the world). 200,000+ users, and over $5M/month in real world commerce.
Spore Forthcoming game by Will Wright's Maxis group, creator of The Sims. Designed to teach social dynamics, evolutionary selection, and the creation of custom content. Epic developmental arc, from microorganisms to space colonization. Video demo (10 min).
Star Wars Galaxies An elaborate Star Wars-based MMORPG created by Sony Online Entertainment.
The Palace Legacy Project A physically failed (2001 Chap 7 bankruptcy) online 2.5D chat world that remains virtually populated. Meridian59 is another community that continued virtually for two years (2000-2002) before new physical ownership and support (Near Death Studios) emerged. Great examples of virtual persistence.
The Sims Strategic life simulation computer game. At 6.3 million copies, the best-selling PC game to date.
There 3D persistent world for online socializing. Popular in 2004.
Virtual Hills and Laguna Beach MTV's social virtual world, based on There's engine. Received 300,000 downloads in ten weeks (2007).
Webkinz World Very popular (2006) virtual world, game, and children's social networking site (Ganz). Children buy Webkinz stuffed animals and input a code to adopt a virtual version of their pet. Great early example of successful mixed reality.
Windows Live Local A 2D web map server similar to Google Maps, Mapquest, or Yahoo! Maps. Minimal collaboration features.
World of Warcraft The leading U.S. MMORPG. Over 6 million subscribers.
WorldWind Open source 3D virtual earth platform. NASA project.


Game: On Machinima A machinima + video film for the Volvo V50. An architect gets sucked into virtual reality and prototypes his project there prior to returning to the physical world. 1.5 and 9 minute versions.
Glimpse inside a metaverse:
the virtual world of Second Life
Philip Rosedale and Corey Ondrejka of Linden Lab, presenting on Second Life at Google TechTalks, March 2006.
Logitech OrbitMP Webcam Effects Phillip Torrone of Make magazine demos the face- and eye-tracking features of the new logitech OrbitMP QuickCam webcam. Software adds 2D mixed reality features to the humans being tracked, and allows the use of 3D gesture-driven avatars instead of showing one's face on the webcam screen.

Nintendo Wii Video

Teaser videos for Nintendo's new Wii (2006), which uses a gestural (wand) input device.
Nintendo touch floor Interesting early version of a new interface concept. Active gaming on the entire living room floor.
Nintendo DS touch screen surgery An example of new gaming categories (ex: active games) enabled by innovative input devices.
SketchUp Easy 3D modeling software tutorials Google acquisition in 2006, for user annotation of Google Earth. Now available for free.
Sony Eyetoy boxing match Early interface for active gaming.
Sony Eyetoy mixed-reality narrative Early mixed-reality initiative for consumer games.
The Mirror World A brief geovlogging tour of highlights of Seattle, merging Google Earth images with video snips. Great example of the promise of the future.
Vodafone Mobile Future Visions Four flash vignettes on Entertaining, Working, Belonging, and Caring in the wireless future. Their "Visual Bracelet" and "Sensor Bracelet" in these scenarios are versions of the Carpal PC form factor for wearable computing that we predict will emerge among high-end early adopters by 2016.
Spore demo 10 min demo of forthcoming game by Will Wright's Maxis group, creator of The Sims. Designed to teach social dynamics, evolutionary selection, and the creation of custom content. Epic developmental arc, from microorganisms to space colonization.

Audio (see also Portals)

Accelerating Change 2004 Physical Space, Virtual Space, and Interface. Podcasts about the convergence of the physical and virtual from ASF's 2004 conference at Stanford Univesity.
Accelerating Change 2005 Artificial Intelligence and Intelligence Amplification (AI and IA). Podcasts about the emergent intelligence of our technologies and the way they are making us smarter as well. ASF's 2005 conference at Stanford University.
Bits and Atoms Neil Gershenfeld predicts the future and implications of personal fabrication. From the 2005 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.
Brave New Virtual Worlds Jerry Paffendorf talks about Second Life, Google Earth, and the Metaverse at Accelerating Change 2005.
Games and the Law A discussion between Beth Noveck, professor at the New York Law School, James Grimmelmann, editor-in-chief of LawMeme, and host Ernest Miller on legal issues surrounding intellectual property in virtual worlds.
Gold from thin Air: The Economy of Virtual Worlds Edward Castronova discusses the the real economics of virtual worlds. From PopTech 2005.
Google Earth John Hanke, general manager of Keyhole at Google, discusses Google Earth. At the Where 2.0 conference, 2005.
Internet of Things Bruce Sterling's enlightening talk at O'Reilly's ETech 2006. He notes that as we move to a world of "spimes," objects whose life history is trackable in space and time, through the geospatial web and other interfaces, the kinds of artificial intelligence we will build in the near term will have little to do with thinking and everything to do with linking, ranking, sorting, sharing, tagging, commenting, collaborative filtering, and other activities. Excellent outline of issues involved in building out the early participatory geospatial web.
Real Money in Virtual Economies A panel discussion on the future of user generated content. From Accelerating Change 2004.
Sculpting Possibility Space Will Wright's keynote on the nature of good games. From Accelerating Change 2004.
Simulations and the Future of Learning Clark Aldrich on how simulations such as virtual worlds impact learning systems. From Accelerating Change 2004.
The New Sense of the Web An introductory discussion about the geospatial web. National Public Radio, 2006.
The Where 2.0 Application Tim O'Reilly identifies trends in mobile and location-based applications, drawing parallels with other software markets. 's Takeaway from the Where 2.0 conference, 2005.
Virtual World, Real Money Intro to economics of virtual worlds. Accompanies the May 1, 2006 Business Week article, "My Virtual Life."


Articles "A Brief History of the Virtual World (Bruce Damer Interview)," Daniel Terdiman, Nov 2006, CNET.
"A Democracy of Groups," Beth Noveck 2005, First Monday.
  "A Digital Life," Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmel, Scientific American, 2007. Wearable lifelog technology update, by pioneers.
  "A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard to Give Up," U. Rochester. Motivational and emotional developmental benefits.
  "A Second Life for MTV," Mark Wallace, Wired, Feb 2007. About the new genre of virtual world extensions of TV programs.
  "Augmented Reality: A New Way of Seeing," Steven K. Feiner, 2002. Scientific American.
  "Harnessing the Hive: How Online Games Drive Networked Innovation," JC Herz, 2004. Release 1.0

"How Madison Avenue is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life," Frank Rose, Wired, 2007. Good piece on the way some large companies predictably overspend and oversimplify their investment priorities in today's early Metaverse. Shades of the early CD-ROM/Multimedia and Dot Com eras.

  "Human Performance Enhancement in 2032," John Smart, 2005. Conversational interface (CI) and the valuecosm.
  "Just Ahead:The Web as a Virtual World," Aili McConnon, BusinessWeek, 13 Aug 2007
  "Ludology, narratology, and simulations as a paradigm," Jamais Cascio, Worldchanging, 2005
  "Mediating Group Dynamics through Tabletop Interface Design," Morris, IEEE CGA, 2006.
  "Postindustrialization and the Virtualization of the Economy," Dmitri Ivanov, J of Soc and Social Anthro, 1998 1(1)
  "Second Earth," Wade Roush, Technology Review, July/August 2007. Great overview of the metaverse community.
  "The Digital Earth," Vice President Al Gore, 1998. Classic speech outlining and promoting the geospatial future.
  "The Geospatial Web: A Call To Action," Mike Liebhold, 2005. What needs to happen next for an open geospatial web.
  "The Laws of Virtual Worlds," Greg Lastowka and Dan Hunter, 2004. California Law Review 92.1:1-74.
  "The Near Future of the Metaverse," Giulio Prisco, Uvvy/IEET, 2006.
  "Virtual Globes: The Web-Wide World," Declan Butler, Nature, V439, 16 Feb 2006 [Subscription Only]
  "Virtual Schooling Growing at K-12 Level," Bill Kaczor, AP, 7 Sep 2007
  "What is Web 2.0?," Tim O'Reilly, 2006. Intro to the concept.
Topical News "A Virtual World But Real Money," Richard Siklos, NYT, 19 Oct 2006. Corporate entrance to Second Life.
  "Businesses find real uses in virtual worlds," Colin Stewart, 2006. OC Register
  "Gamers Eye Open Virtual Worlds," Daniel Terdiman, 2004. Wired
  "How online services will shape the console war," David Cole, Next Generation, 2006
  "Taking Video Games to the Streets," Mike McEwan, 2005. PC Gaming
  "The Next Big Thing," Patrick Cox, TCS Daily, 2006
  New Bar Codes Can Talk With Your Cellphone, Louise Story, NY Times, 2007 (on Physical Hyperlinks).
Special Issue Periodicals Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Special Issue on Virtual Worlds. Aug 2008. Broad e-commerce coverage.
  The Games Issue: Studying Computer Games as Media, Feb 2004. Media Int. Australia. Critical writing on gaming.
  The New World of Games, Apr 2006. Wired Magazinine. Guest editor Will Wright. Ongoing cultural impact of videogames.

Roadmaps and Forecasts

See our Roadmapping and Plans and Studies pages.

Portals and Wikis

3pedia A wiki for 3D web technologies, and multi-user online spaces.
Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning MacArthur Foundation's fantastic $50M initiative to gather what is known about how digital media and learning (DML) technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life, and to seed innovation for continued growth. They are developing a Knowledge Network portal for the DML field (launching Spring 2007).
FlightSim A portal for the world's flight simulation community.
Geoplace The authoritative resource for geospatial information.
LBSzone a resource for Location-Based Services and related technologies including mobile geopositioning, GPS, RFID, WiFi, open source hacks, and related applications, technologies and services.
Second Cast Metaverse Podcasting Network. Great audio coverage of Second Life. Also Metaverse Sessions for general VWs.
SimTeach Information and community for teachers in Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVE's)
Social Study Games Lisa Galarneau's research site on the social aspects of games and MMOs. Extensive list of papers and articles.
The Daedalus Project Nick Yee's resarch site on the psychology of MMOGs.

Topical Websites

Atlas of Cyberspaces Atlas of 2D and 3D maps and graphic representations of the geographies of cyberspace.
David Rumsey Map Collection 8,000 examples of 2D historical cartography. Inspirations for the geospatial web.
HyperHistory Online 2,000 2D graphics covering 3,000 years of history. Example of the potential for graphical historiographies.
ManyOne Proposed virtual worlds community platform. Just a great brochureware site at present (Joe Firmage). Statistics tracking the growth of Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Bruce Woodcock. Free videogames with political perspectives (Madrid and September 12th) based on news events.
Simulation/Gaming eXchange (SGX) Internet clearinghouse for online simulation/gaming resources. A bit outdated.
Social Impact Games Entertaining games with serious (non-entertainment) objectives. 200 in database. (Games2train)
V-people Peter Plantec's site on the present development and future use of virtual humans. His homepage.


3pointD An affiliate blog of the Metaverse Roadmap focused on exploring the emerging 3D Web.
Brands in Games A study of in-game advertising. Ilya Vedrashko. Doing his MIT MS thesis on this topic.
Brownian Emotion Avi Bar-Ze’ev's (Google Earth/Keyhole) blog on 3D web and other topics.
Cairns A blog on democratic design, E-democracy, and civic innovation by Beth Noveck, Director of the New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Policy and the Democracy Design Workshop.
Designing Participation Researching the design of participatory web projects. Netherlands.
End of Cyberspace Alex Pang of IFTF writes about pervasive computing and the dissolving of boundaries between the physical and virtual world.
Exergames Collecting info on the expanding world of active video games (exergames).
Future Now The Institute for the Future's blog exploring emerging technologies and their implications.
Game Girl Advance An alternate view of video game culture within the larger context of popular culture.
Game Politics Dennis McCauley covers the politics surrounding the gaming industry.
Habitat Chronicles Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, on cyberspace, virtual communities, online games, and distributed systems.
Identity 2.0 Addressing the problem of our web-distributed digital identity. Especially relevant for the coming age of the avatar.
Information Aesthetics Exploring data visualization and ways it inspires new design.
Joi Ito Digital Commons advocate. CEO and Founder, Neoteny, Board Member, ICANN.
joystiq A Weblogs Inc. blog on consumer issues in the gaming industry. Online resource for videogame researchers. Gonzalo Frasca.
Many to Many A Corante weblog exploring social software and how Web 2.0 changes the way people interact.
Metaverse Territories Four blogs on building in Second life with "(im)materials.
Mimi Ito Cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly among youth in Japan and the US.
Ogle Earth A blog about Google Earth, it's development, and different ways people are utilizing it in "mashups" to make the web more geospatially aware.
Read/Write Web Richard MacManus keeps track of Web 2.0 and its promise for the future of media.
Rebang This blog reviews new Web 2.0 products and companies as they emerge.
Raph Koster MMORPG Designer; Former CCO, Sony Online Entertainment.
Scobelizer A technical evangelist at Microsoft. His blog is widely read by independent software developers.
Terra Nova The leading professional community blog exploring virtual worlds. Since 2003.
Trends Glimpses into the future of technology experience. Includes: "3D. What is it good for?"
The Cooperation Commons Howard Rheingold's blog exploring the mechanisms that underlie human cooperation in conjunction with new technologies enabling us to cooperate and act collectively in increasingly positive-sum ways.
The Long Tail Chris Anderson's model explaining the economic and social changes that occur when access to information becomes abundant and spatially irrelevant.
The Other Here Jerry Paffendorf's blog on the development of the Metaverse.
Virtual China IFTF blog on virtual experiences and internet activities in China.
Virtual Humans Peter Plantec's blog on the construction and future of virtual humans in e-learning and other social applications.
VRoot Virtual reality news and resources edited by and for the VR community.
Water Cooler Games A forum for the uses of videogames in advertising, politics, education, and other everyday activities. Ian Bogost and Gonzalo Frasca.

Newsletters - Online

Gamasutra The art and business of making games - online sister to Game Developer

The Escapist

An online magazine published weekly covering gaming and gamer culture.
Thiagi Gameletter To increase and improve the use of interactive, experiential strategies to improve human performance in an effective, efficient, and enjoyable way. Sivasailam (Thiagi) Thiagarajan.

RSS and Social Bookmarks

starhill_blend feed serving geospatial web links.

Newsletters - Print

Release 1.0 Esther Dyson's savvy monthly report on the information technology and communications markets.

Periodicals - General and Trade

Animation Magazine Reports on all aspects of the animation industry.
Computer Graphics World Information on production tools and applications for digital content creators.
Earth Imaging Journal A leading information source on remote sensing and related geospatial products and services.
Game Developer Magazine focused on the game industry - print brother to Gamasutra
GeoWorld Geospatial innovations, trends, and events. 25,000 subscribers in 2006.
PC Gamer Magazine focused on PC gaming, video game reviews
RFID Journal The leading publication devoted solely to radio frequency identification and its many business applications.
Wired Covering technology, culture, business and politics for the digital generation.

Periodicals - Academic and Specialty

ACM Computer Graphics Quarterly Yearly proceedings of the annual SIGGRAPH conferences. Online only.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) Furthering the development of computer graphics by encouraging high-quality research (est. 1970's).
Computer Graphics Forum Official journal of Eurographics. international information for computer graphics professionals interested in graphics developments worldwide.
Developments in Business Simulation & Experiential Exercises Annual proceedings of the Association of Business Simulation and Experiential Learning conference. Available through ABSEL.
Game Studies The first international peer-reviewed academic journal on computer games (est. 2001).
IEEE Pervasive Computing Leading journal advancing research and practice in mobile and ubiquitous computing.
International Journal of
Intelligent Games and Simulation
A web publication of the University of Wolverhampton UK and
The Society for Modeling and Simulation International (est. 2002).
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) An interdisciplinary journal for the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation (est. 1998).
Journal of Game Development Peer-reviewed academic research focused solely on game-related issues (est. 2005).
Journal of Graphics Tools Practical production techniques for the the computer graphics research, development, and production community (est. 1996).
Simulation & Gaming Interdisciplinary journal of game theory, practice and research. Academic and applied issues in simulation/gaming in education, training, consultation and research (est. circa 1972). Official journal of several professional associations, including the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA), the Japan Association of Simulation and Gaming (JASAG), the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA), Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research (SIETAR-USA) and Swiss-Austrian German Simulation and Gaming Association (SAGSAGA)

Books - Non-Fiction

A Brief History of the Future: From Radio Days to Internet Years in a Lifetime, John Naughton, 2000

Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become, Peter Morville, 2005

Beyond Reality: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, John W Gosney, 2005
Brands and Gaming: The Computer Gaming Phenomenon and the Impact of Brands on Gaming, David Nichols et. al, 2006
Designing Virtual Worlds, Richard Bartle, 2003
Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Ed., Everett Rogers, 2005

Digital Game-Based Learning, Marc Prensky, 2004

Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson, 2005

Geospatial Matters: Exploring the Implications of a Digital Earth, 2006 (forthcoming)

Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever, John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade, 2004

Learning by Doing: Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences, Clark Aldrich, 2005

Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox... How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean, David Gelernter, 1993

Rules of Play, Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, 2003

Simulations and the Future of Learning, Clark Aldrich, 2003

Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games , Ted Castronova, 2005

The Age of Intelligent Machines, Ray Kurzweil, 1992

The Rise of the Image, The Fall of the Word, Mitchell Stephens, 1998. Great intro to the meaning and transcendence of visual culture.
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, John Batelle, 2005
The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil, 2005
The Ultimate History of Video Games, Steven L. Kent, 2001

Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster, 2004

This Is Not a Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming, Dave Szulborski, 2005
Transparent Society, David Brin, 1999
Virtual Humans, Peter Plantec, 2003
Virtualization of Society, Dmitri Ivanov, 2000. In Russian only.

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee, 2004


Books - Fiction

Fast Times at Fairmont High, in The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, 2002. Virtual collaboration among high school students, early metaverse.
Neuromancer, William Gibson, 1986. The original cyberpunk novel. Dystopian digital futures.
Shockwave Rider, John Brunner, 1975/95. Classic introduction to universal data networks, information overload, and issues of the digital society.
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson, 1992. Classic introduction to the metaverse as the hub of future social interaction.
True Names, Vernor Vinge,1981/2001. The story that launched the idea of cyberspace, and the cyberpunk literary movement.


Research Tools and Databases

ACM Digital Library Full text of every article published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), including over 50 years of archives.
Game Research and Technology "Links to research on the technology of games, and other forms of interactive virtual worlds. "


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