«Begin at the beginning», the King said gravely,«Then proceed straight through to the end, then stop» (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
Um «Admirável Mundo Novo»?
«a social space? A cartographically accurate proxy for the real world? Some VR terra incognito to be carved up by entrepreneurs and homesteaders? A white elephant?
Michael Fotoohi doesn’t know how the result of his three years spent world building will be received – or how it will evolve. But the co-founder and MD of developer Micazook says uncertainty is part of the programme. “We want to see how people behave,” Fotoohi explains. “We want to see how they claim property, build houses and attach data. It’s a learning curve.”
The ambition is to host and populate a 3D map of the planet, with businesses, homes and people. “We don’t know of anyone who has taken this on,” Fotoohi muses. “Maybe everyone else is smarter than us. Maybe it’s too much.”
Once, software had a shipping date, and version 2.0 came later. Early releases gave ground to internet patching, then the web 2.0 companies – Google, Twitter and others – abandoned final builds altogether. Perpetual beta mode is today’s state of the art, with software often developed in tandem with a community that adds content and even functionality. Windows 95 it isn’t. Progress can be buggy and frustrating, but lifting the ceiling on ambition and enabling users to contribute has led to extraordinary works, from Wikipedia and its visual equivalent in Flickr, to 85,000 iPhone apps and LittleBigPlanet’s one million player-generated levels.»
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