Parallel Selves and cross-world interactions
The Parallel Selves Message Bridge is a new addition to the code forge of OpenSimulator, the “Apache for virtual worlds” project, featured on OStatic last year. The Bridge makes it possible for users within one OpenSim world to send IMs to users currently logged into another Second Life-compatible world. This also means OpenSim users can send IMs to people currently logged into Second Life itself.
It’s needless to say that Second Life and OpenSim have a lot of elements in common in terms of code base, as Opensim has been designed to be compatible with Second Life, so, I wouldn’t push myself to say that this is a first step into the extension of this bridge to other worlds… it’s a totally different subject matter when you leave the SL-Opensim platform.
And similar examples of cross-world technology have been already developed for other platforms in the past. For MUDs with Intermud, a technology that allowed users from different MUDs to communicate with each other. For MMOs, a plug in called Gaim for Blizzard’s Battle.net allowed users to talk to each other across Warcraft 3, Starcraft and Diablo (not sure about Wow). And obviously Xfire, a free gaming tool that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily.
So, besides the fact that the tech is now available also for Second Life and Opensim, it will be interesting to see if and how virtual worlds users use it, providing a crucial indication about cross-world usage in virtual worlds. If cross-world usage becomes a crucial part of the virtual worlds experience with useful applications, then more virtual worlds platforms will probably wonder if they should start looking into something similar to get more users and keep their user base active and engaged.