Sony announced a new online virtual world for the PS3, which will be free (with every PS3). The video is pretty impressive. It’s a combination of Xbox Live, Nintendo’s Miis, and Second Life. It reminded me of an article I wrote six years ago for Joystick 101, now lost to us, called “the Game OS”. It proposed an online, virtual world that would function as a wrapper for all games played, and it’s almost exactly what Sony is going to do. Not to gloat at my own foresightedness or anything.
There remain questions of implementation. For example, Sony is clearly planning on selling advertising in this world, and will charge you for special clothes for your avatar. But can you make your own clothes? Can you get an adblocker? Can I look like a dinosaur but with the face of “Scooter” Libby? How customizable is it, how open-ended is it? Are we in Snow Crash or Sony’s corporate fantasyworld?