Crisis on Infinite Google Earths - A Virtual World That Might Not Suck

I’m an avid gamer. When I say ‘avid’, I mean it in all possible terms. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve held records, I’ve humped a television set in celebration. The list of things I’ve never done in gaming is very short; one of the things on that list is ‘enjoy a virtual world’.

Start-up Micazook (which boasts the silliest goddam most whimsical name I’ve ever heard) wants to change my mind.

Let’s face it – virtual worlds are boring, and anyone who’s ever played Second Life (still the …’leader’) can agree. Even investors these days are wary to drop money on ideas for new virtual worlds. Of course, in a virtual world, you can fly, conjure objects out of thin air, be whatever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, and live your wildest fantasies more vividly than ever before.

So why does the experience still suck?

Micazook thinks they have the answer. In the next few weeks, they’ll launch a beta of Project X, an as-of-yet-unnamed realm which will offer the same limitless freedom of all the virtual worlds to come before it.

But Project X will be based on the real world.

In what we can only guess will be Google Earth on steroids, Project X will be a community-driven, browser-based project that replicates real-world locations. “We like people to come and build Earth,” said Micazook founder Michael Fotoohi confusingly. As much as I’d like to ‘come and build Earth’ for Michael, I’m – sadly – not an architect. But Fotoohi says they’ve got that covered, and that helping design the world will be a relatively quick and simple process, not much deeper than editing a Wikipedia article.

The fact that the project is browser-based is also a plus for Project X – with no software to download (only a browser plugin that allows 3D acceleration), the cost for the end user in both system resources and cash will stay way down. Hell, rent for a building in Project X will be a reported $4.99 per month. For that price, I’m moving to the internet.

Fotoohi definitely has a concept worth a look, and has possibly discovered exactly what a virtual world needs: Second Life is boring because it’s a fantasy world for fantasy’s sake – who cares that I can conjure a truck full of tigers if I can’t drive it straight into my friend’s living room? With Project X, I just might be able to.

And that rules.

[Via Deep Tech]

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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