This could be big. A company called There Inc. has just launched a new online world. As the article...

posted 08 January 2003
This could be big. A company called There Inc. has just launched a new online world. As the article explains, it's pretty amazing. Walking around a fairly detailed 3D world, you get to be a human-like avatar, with a reasonably high level of customization possible in your appearance. Your 3D face can show a variety of emotions, and your body has a range of body language too.You can:
  • Chat in real-time with people walking around you (your chat appears like speech balloons)
  • Bandwidth permitting, have real-time voice chats with others around you. You can hear music and other sounds in the world surrounding you, too.
  • Buy things like clothes to wear, toys to play with, and vehicles (like a dune buggy and a hoverboard) that you can actually ride. This, it seems, is how There Inc. makes money -- items are purchased using unimaginatively-named ThereBucks, and you must buy Therebucks using actual money (the exchange rate is pretty generous though).
  • Program (using an open API) your own worlds and items, allowing you to create multiplayer online games with a lot less effort and a built-in installed audience base. The possibilities of this feature seem endless to me.
    Short of actually having 3D goggles, this is probably what you thought the Internet would be like the first time you ever heard about it. And now it's here. Woohoo! I've signed up for the public beta, and hopefully I'll get a chance to try it out...

    Skittering across the waves of my consciousness, you should also really read The Weekly. Why?

    I accidentally bought a Wicca chair instead of a wicker chair. Now my entire family are toads.
    That's why.
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