Back in April, we covered a whitepaper from MMO designer Raph Koster, who just so happens to be building a metaverse MMO – or at least, that’s what he calls it. Koster is a veteran MUD and sandbox developer, and his perception of the metaverse is essentially the same virtual worlds he’s always evangelized, only interconnected and interoperable at scale now that the tech’s starting to catch up to the virtual world vision of the ’90s.
Of course, the problem is that’s not what most people using the word metaverse mean. Like it or not, companies like Facebook – sorry, Meta – aided by a million get-rich-quick techbro hucksters perverted the term into sounding like a virtual reality marketing scam entangled with blockchain NFT crypto bunk. If you say the word “metaverse” to most people, they will roll their eyes, and indeed mainstream media have started calling time of death on the money-losing fad.
In the comments of our aforementioned article, I proposed that Koster simply use a new word to define the kind of game platform he’s building. Easier said than done, though. What word should he (or we?) use? If the word “metaverse” is unusable, what should we call that type of game or platform?