Raph Koster is no stranger to talking about the concept of the metaverse – he’s done it a couple of times already, trying to tie the term into the creation of a virtual world rather than a platform for Web3-based dumpster fires.
Koster was back on that same bully pulpit once again in a video interview hosted by Naavik, which incidentally is associated with blockchain gaming and crypto, though much of what he talked about was again about virtual worlds being crafted instead of a platform for speculative “games.”
In the interview, Koster was asked about the “mission” for his studio Playable Worlds, which garnered the following response:
“I would say that the mission of Playable Worlds is to fulfill the potential of what online worlds can be. […] I would like online worlds to be a place where different groups come to understand one another; a place where we can experiment and work together to solve group coordination problems that maybe help make a difference in the real world. I would like online worlds to be places of identity exploration, where we come to know ourselves better. They’re not just a public square but a lab for experimentation.
“In terms of what that means in terms of what we’re building, first is we want to make online worlds actually work the way the rest of the modern internet does rather than using a decades-old very rigid client/server model; we want to do something that plays better with the internet today.”
Koster also talked about what kind of metaverse he wants to see in the world:
“When we dream of a metaverse, it’s super clear that it needs some clued elements such as on-the-fly dynamic updates, far less reliance on static content, less emphasis on the concept of content period, more ability for there to be a two-way connection between players and the game, more leveraging of the amazing power of simulation and the power of the cloud than what we do now. We keep building worlds like we’re building the stage for a high school play.”
Finally, Koster talked about the idea of player ownership and player-owned economies in gaming. Here Koster talks about the differences between whether games can or whether they should, noting that he currently falls in the “should but maybe can’t” category, citing current tech infrastructure as the primary reason. “To my mind, you cannot disentangle the notion of ownership from the fundamental fact that somebody else owns the server that embodies all of the ownership data,” he says.