Recently I posted about the Sim-on-a-stick. At the time I was able to get the server running on my laptop and access my own sim. But I couldn’t manage to invite any friends. Later that day I tried to do the same from my Win 7 desktop. Sadly it didn’t work. (Probably a 64-bit issue) In the process I loaded the Apache server, MySQL and PHP5 on my desktop… it still didn’t work. Eventually I became distracted by my Dreamweaver project. After posting about the Sim-on-a-stick and talking about it to a few folks I didn’t think much of it. Obviously if I was thinking about it others were as well, others with far better technical skills than I. Today I learned Oberon Onmura set it up successfully and at the invitation of my friend and fellow metaverse explorer Jo Ellsmere, I was able to log into an independent OpenSim running on Oberon Onmura’s “older & not so fast” desk top (running Vista and a single Gig of memory!)….
Some may wonder… what is the big deal? OpenSim right? Yes… sort of… more like OpenGrid… or as several have labeled it… Hypergrid. A completely decentralized Grid – You want one Region of your own to control completely? Go ahead install it. Run it & invite your friends.
Like so many advances, it raises more questions than it answers. What of inventory? As it stands today… you Create it … you move it around the Hypergrid. Will it stay that way? How will creative freedom and copyright be impacted? What of “the Boys at the Lab” as sororNishi calls them? If the Hypergrid is so completely decentralized, what value do they still bring to the table – scale – community - history? What type of economy will develop… will there be common currency? Or will I have to make my own hair? Will the technologically savvy rule the roost? And just what is that ‘roost’? How will being connected to ONLY those you want to connect to change things? Will the serendipity of community be destroyed? Perhaps it is as Dusan wrote recently… perhaps the lab created (unintentionally) a critical mass of emotional bandwidth allowing us the experience of Place. How will Placeness be impacted by a hyper-decentralized-grid, it remains to be seen? Clearly we are entering new space that will likely create a new Place. At this point (particularly for the Artists I know) it is the ultimate Sandbox… in more ways than one.
Stay Tuned… More to come…