Here are two interactive diagrams. The first one is a timeline which is pretty cool. I couldn’t figure out how to post them into the blog. So, here are the links:
These following videos give show some excerpts from various virtual worlds:
The last video was made by Gary Hayes who wrote about it in this blog:
He wrote about some of his thoughts about virtual worlds and gives a list of the virtual worlds in order from the video:
- YoVille (in Facebook)
- Gaia Online
- Google Lively
- Habbo Hotel
- Laguna Beach (vMTV)
- Football Superstars
- Second Life
- Club Penguin
- Active Worlds
- A Tale in the Desert
- Barbie Online
- Amazing Worlds
- Exit Reality
- and 15 others including SpineWorld, Stardoll, The Manor, There.com, Vastpark, Qwaq, PS3Home, GoSupermodel, Grockit, Croquet, Metaplace, Coke Studios, Dreamville, Dubit, Mokitown, Moove, Muse, The Palace, Playdo, Sora City, Voodoo Chat, TowerChat, Traveler, Virtual Ibiza
Gary Hayes also presented one of these diagrams from this site:
Shown right is the K Zero ‘Universe-graph’. This graph shows total registered accounts across a wide-range of different virtual worlds with accompanying average age and year of formation.
Virtual worlds currently in development are also included. Read more here.
Shown left is the virtual worlds Radar graph.
A segmentation of the major virtual worlds live or in development. Each world is assigned to a category and average age range.
Read more about the Radar here.
The Explorers: Marketing activity across multiple virtual worlds
Companies and brands are starting to explore different virtual worlds in order to open dialogues with distinct target markets and demographics.
These companies include fashion and clothing brands looking to sell virtual goods and real-world media owners leveraging assets virtually through to toy brands seeking to expand the level of engagement with their products.
The graph shown left shows companies and brands engaging in worlds catering to kids and tweens – a key growth area. Read more.
The rest that I’m posting below are just different diagrams that show the variety of virtual worlds and some of them have hyperlinks to more detailed info:
This map is divided in 4 main fields:
- Social, with universe revolving around community building
- Games, with universes relying on online games
- Entertainment, where music, videos and films related content
- Business, where selling or exchanging goods is the main motivator for users and with enterprise applications (virtual training, serious games…)
Please not that these fields overlap themselves:
If you search for a high-quality version of this map, here it is: Virtual Universes Landscape.
A wide typology of uages
You can find on this map various groups which are related to specific usage:
- 2.5 & 3D Chats, which are an evolution to instant messaging services but with a much stronger immersion ( IMVU, Taatu, Citypixel, Faketown…)
- Avatar-centric, where avatars are at the center of interactions and functionalities ( Neopets, Club Penguin, Stardoll, Virtual MTV…)
- Social Platforms, universes which inherits from social networks and sharing platforms while adding some avatar management and online games ( Habbo, Cyworld, QQ, Gaia, Playdo…)
- Branded Universes, which propose a total immersion inside the brand’s graphical universe and products range ( Barbie Girls, Pepsi Town, MyCoke, ToonTown, T-Works, Home…)
- Virtual Worlds, where users experience nearly total freedom of action ( Second Life, HiPiHi, There, Entropia Universe…)
- MOG, online gaming platforms relying on casual games for developing sociabilization ( KartRider, PuzzlePirates, MapleStory…)
- MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games which requires a stronger social involvement ( World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Dofus, RuneScape, Lineage II…)
- Online Sport Games, based on collective or individual sports ( Football Superstars, Online Soccer Manager, Fishing Champ, Ultimate Baseball Online…)
- Adult Games, money games targeted at adults ( PKR, Cameo Casino…)
- Virtual Sex, 3D dating spaces ( Red Light Center, Virtual Ibiza, Naughty America…)
- Virtual City Guides, which are natural evolutions of local and mapping services ( Google Earth, UpNext…)
- Serious Games, which are deploy inside enterprise to build 3D collaborative spaces, virtual training classes and augmented meeting rooms ( Innov8, MPK20, Quaq…)
- World Generators, which allows 3D world creation ( Active Worlds, Multiverse, Metaplace…)
To construct our scenario set we selected two key continua that are likely to influence the ways in which the Metaverse unfolds: the spectrum of technologies and applications ranging from augmentation to simulation; and the spectrum ranging from intimate (identity-focused) to external (world-focused).
- Augmentation refers to technologies that add new capabilities to existing real systems; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that layer new control systems and information onto our perception of the physical environment.
- Simulation refers to technologies that model reality (or parallel realities), offering wholly new environments; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that provide simulated worlds as the locus for interaction.
- Intimate technologies are focused inwardly, on the identity and actions of the individual or object; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies where the user (or semi-intelligent object) has agency in the environment, either through the use of an avatar/digital profile or through direct appearance as an actor in the system.
- External technologies are focused outwardly, towards the world at large; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that provide information about and control of the world around the user.
These continua are “critical uncertainties”-critical because they are fundamental aspects of the coming Metaverse, and uncertainties because how they will emerge, their relative and absolute development in various contexts, is yet to be seen.
Combining the two critical uncertainties gives four key components of the Metaverse future:
|Comparison of Virtual Environments|
|OS||Cost per month||Target user & style||Edit
|Build or design content?||Script content?||Own land or sell items?||Education
||PC & Linux||Free / $6.95||General; Exploration||
|Barbie Girls||PC||Free||Young girls; Fashion, social||No||Neither||No|
|Club Penguin||PC & Mac||Free / $5.95||Kids; Games and Activities||No||No||Neither||No|
|Forterra Systems||PC||Contract||Training, E-Learning, Serious Games||Can code||Can code||Can code|
|Gaia Online||PC & Mac||Free||Social; Top-down overview, sprites||No||No||Sorta||No|
|Habbo Hotel||PC & Mac||Free||Teens; Social||No||Neither||No|
|Kaneva||PC & Mac||Free||Teens; Social||No||Sorta||No|
|Neopets||PC & Mac||Free / $7.95||Kids and teens; Mini-games, social||No||No||No|
|Teen Second Life||PC & Mac||Free / $9.95||Teens only; 3D, Creation, social||Can code|
|Second Life||PC & Mac||Free / $9.95||18+ only; 3D, Creation||Can code|
|The Sims Online||PC||$9.95/mo.||General; Social; 3D||No||
|There||PC||Free / $9.95||General; Social||Limited||No|
|Whyville||PC & Mac||Free||Kids and teens; 2D sprites; Educational||No||Neither|
||PC & Mac||Free||Teens; Social||No||No||Neither||No|
The following is a legend for the above chart:
- Virtual world - The name of the virtual environment.
- OS – The available platforms for the title (PC, Mac, Linux, etc.)
- Cost per month – The cost for a monthly subscription. If the software has free, limited access available, it will be labeled as Free.
- Target user and style – The intended audience for the virtual world (e. g. kids, teens, adults) and the style of the environment (education, exploration, content creation, building, socializing, etc.)
- Edit avatars – The ability to customize one’s digital character.
- Build or design content – The ability to create custom content, without any required programming or coding.
- Script content – The ability to create objects and items via programming or coding.
- Own land / sell items – The ability to own virtual real estate, and the ability to sell virtual items within the virtual world.
- Education ready – The ability to utilize the virtual environment for educational purposes, such as to teach subject matter.
- Community events – Available community supported or sponsored events within the world.
|Best for KidsDisney’s Toontown
Virtual Magic Kingdom
Best for Teens
Best for 20s – 30s
Best for Ages 40+
|Best for TechiesActive Worlds
Best for Newbies
Best for Artists
Best for Dial-Up
|Free Access!Active Worlds
Virtual Magic Kingdom
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates
Best for Broadband
Here are a few more sites with useful info:
I’ll start off with linking to the Wikipedia article: