Richard points out that this sudden rush mirrors the Internet’s evolution – initially it was an educational and research network, then in the 90’s it went through a commercial land grab.
He also notes that these early forays into virtual worlds could be the next frontier in the blurring of advertising and entertainment.
I’ve covered the melding of Web 2.0 and MMOGs before, but it’s worth taking cognisance that the article corroborates my views – these sites meld elements of the most popular forms of new media: chat rooms, video games, online stores, user-generated content sites like YouTube and social networking sites like MySpace.
Perhaps the most interesting comment in the entire article, and something I’ve been banging on about for a decade, is this:
Virtual world proponents — including a roster of Linden Labs investors that includes Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com; Mitchell D. Kapor, the software pioneer; and Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder — say that the entire Internet is moving toward being a three-dimensional experience that will become more realistic as computing technology advances.