Futurist in Residence Jerry Paffendorf from Electric Sheep Company a Second Life content/consultant company was part of a panel session at SuperNova2006’s Wharton West Workshop titled Massively Multi-layered Learning from Virtual Worlds today.
The MMOG’s of today like Wow is very expensive to create and maintain because of the time spend by game designers to create content for the users. The general consensus among the panelist was that hardcore gaming MMOG’s like Wow will blend more with user generated worlds like Second Life for a hybrid format of MMOG’s in the future. The hybrid MMOG’s will benefit both game producers and users by lowering the cost of development but also by adding more sustainability for the users by allowing them to create their own content and hence creating an army of game designers.
And how can the real world learn from what’s going on in the virtual world? Some of the issues raised were increased gaming type of leveling in workplaces with reward systems and quest solving that are going to be modeled after your favorite online game.
Another issues raised would have more social benefits with virtual quests with real world problem solving capabilities like having players do scans for certain patterns to complete a quest and that those patterns actually were x-ray images and the quest was helping doctors diagnose cancer patients. I like the idea of problem solving in the virtual world is directly linked with real world benefits but given what level of training it takes to help doctors scan x-way images that idea might have long prespectives.
An interesting project developed by Michael Frumin at Eyebeam Research and Development but not mentioned in the session that I’ll bring up since I didn’t blog the story from Jerry’s speak at Where 2.0 is the idea of creating a metaverse by merging a Google Earth like application with a Second Life universe of user generated content.