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To get to the next iteration of our worlds – whether World 2.0 or Virtual World 2.0 – both Augmented Reality and online environments like Second Life face similar challenges: how to track, mark up, and create metadata layers that help make the world around us more useful and more fun. Here’s my challenge to AR developers: Create meaning in the world by making it more like a video game. What kind of data about the real world do you need, and where can analogous data be found online? Can online worlds be used as testbeds for the challenges faced by AR devs? What do World of Warcraft’s minimap radars and HUDs remind you of? And how cool are the multiplayer Halo 3 kill heatmaps – and what do they have to teach us about creating killer AR apps to help us navigate, or “play,” the physical world?
Mark Wallace starts conversations and manages blogs and other communications products at Linden Lab, makers of the online world Second Life. A longtime commentator on virtual worlds and social technologies, he has been a startup CEO, a tech blogger, an internationally published journalist, and co-author of a book on virtual worlds, The Second Life Herald: The Virtual Tabloid That Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse. He lives in San Francisco.