Build a Virtual World
Why would you want to build a virtual world, with so many online games and virtual worlds to choose from? The simple answer is ‘self-expression’. Have you ever visited any of the other virtual world sites and started to make of list of things that you wish were different? If you answered ‘yes’, then you have just experienced this very human need for self-expression first hand.
It’s also interesting to note that most of the websites that encourage people to build their own worlds and feature the tools to help them do it are usually more oriented toward social interaction than games. The game sites focus more on successfully completing challenges and acquiring points that allow players to move to the next level. The social sites focus more on chatting, shopping for or designing avatars and their accessories and building houses, businesses and social settings for the avatars (and their people) to interact in.
Here are a few websites that will allow you to build your own virtual world, using their online platforms so you don’t have to start from scratch.
The most popular and successful virtual world online offers free membership, as well as paid memberships that allow players to own virtual real estate, and enterprise level participation aimed at corporations and universities for online learning and meeting applications.
This is Second Life’s closest competitor, since it offers most of the same features, including enterprise level virtual worlds for business and educational purposes. In fact, many Second Life citizens came from Active Worlds (AW), which has been online since 1995. AW ran into lack of financial support due to a change in ownership in its early days, and never fully recovered the support that Second Life (SL) has enjoyed. But the up side for users is that it’s less expensive than SL, and enterprise-level users on a limited budget can get many (but not all) of the same features for a much smaller cost.
This 3D virtual world offers most of the basic activities that are common to these social sites: shopping, online events, designing and selling virtual avatar accessories, and chatting. One unique feature it offers is a free 3D home for players. In most other virtual communities, homes usually must be purchased. But offering a free home is a smart business move, since most people will soon want to start buying furniture and accessories for it.
This last entry is not a pre-existing platform, but rather free software that allows you to build your own virtual world from scratch. As long as you don’t charge money for people to use the virtual world you build, Multiverse won’t charge you to use their software. So if you love to program, take advantage of their generosity and build a virtual world that you and your friends can use for free.
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