Monday, September 08, 2008

Outeroperability according to Myrl

Last week I blogged about the state of affairs of interoperability, i.e. connectivity and portability between virtual environments, this week the focus shifts towards outeroperability with a view on Myrl.

Myrl isn't a world, it's more like a gateway, or as the Virtual Worlds Forum puts it:

"It is a website which aims to act as something of a hub for users of multiple virtual worlds, with the ability to keep track of friends, send messages and discover new worlds. They argue cogently for its need: 'The extraordinary growth of the number of worlds available and the extreme diversification of the experiences that are now possible in the virtual space is changing the way we use virtual worlds, making our virtual experience more and more multi-world and content-driven, rather than world-driven. We want to support and foster this change, providing a platform that enables worlds-browsing and makes our virtual lives easier, richer and funnier.' "

Myrl launched last week (no surprise there since it was VW Conference time) to open Beta, but already existed for some time in closed alpha. Currently Myrl offers a point of entry for 19 virtual worlds, the ability to manage several avatars from one dashboard, and to aggregate content from multiple sources to create something of a lifestream pulse.

(Website Snapshot: the 19 Worlds Myrl currently connects to)

Francesco D'Orazio, Founder and CEO, commented:

"We’re trying to build a cross-world entertainment platform with two goals; The first goal is to bring together the different virtual worlds and create an integrated space with endless possibilities. We’re trying to build a layer on top of each virtual world to create a common ground and build different applications. Some of them might be mobile some them might be cross-world gaming some might be virtual goods-related, but the core idea is to bring together virtual worlds."

Myrl is working around real interoperability, using the Web as hub between worlds. D'Orazio thinks that's essential for the way we're using virtual worlds. He comes back to the metaphor of the early Web as full of walled gardens before opening up. But instead of asking each virtual world to pull down its walls for interoperability, D'Orazio thinks that their current trend of connecting to the Web is enough to promote outeroperability. That supports, as D'Orazio puts it, users' "switch from a context-driven mentality to a content-driven mentality."

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