Enter now the mirror world – a virtual replication of an actual world – not a fantasy world.
One of the best of these mirror worlds is Berlin-based Metaversum GmbH’s Twinity which currently features mirror versions of Singapore, London and Berlin – with more cities in the works. After creating an account and downloading their software, Twinity members can beam their avatars to just outside Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as it looks today – or, back to 1989 as it looked before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Or teleport to London and stroll around Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square (no virtual pigeons that I could see). The visuals are very good and the sense of place real within the limitations of today’s computer technology – and we all know how long that stands still.
So how are mirror worlds different from fantasy virtual world games and social networking sites in terms of business and revenue generation? Well, in order to mirror a real world convincingly, they will require an immersive quality and a level of detail and rendering generally absent from fantasy virtual worlds; and, because they mimic the real world, they have potential real world business applications – and problems – that may require real world architects, lawyers and other professionals to address to reach their true potential as legitimate alternates or augmentations to the real business world.
As an attorney, I see the obvious intellectual property rights issues with copying real buildings in the mirror world – even though those “buildings” are just collections of 1s and 0s in servers somewhere. Building owners are sensitive to a myriad of concerns regarding the management of their properties and snarky mirror city developers who transform a real world high-rise condo into a mirror city brothel might find themselves shaking hands with the owner’s process server and responding to innovative real world legal claims.
You’ll need to click over and read the full piece for more interesting questions raised in the post.