Lego Mesh

Recently, Lego announced a virtual world they will release in 2008. They’re not merely getting on the Second Life bandwagon but have understood the importance of virtual community and have been working on it for a decade:

We humans are social creatures. We enjoy doing things together. Fact is, we’re interdependent. Perhaps our need for each other is the reason the Internet allures us: it transforms our computers into community centers. The Web brings color, movement, and non-linearity to the community, while VRML adds a sense of space.

VRML-enhanced Web sites hint at how citizens soon may interact with each other inside virtual space via desktop computer. But right now, behind the scenes, folks are working in collaborative, immersive, simulation-based environments. Such an environment exists inside the Virtual Reality lab at the LEGO Group, makers of the world’s most popular toys.

Lego Virtual Village

An account of my 1997 take on the subject talks about why it’s taken 10 years to get here, where the path is leading and what the broad impact of mixing the physical and virtual worlds may be. The following video provides a small peak

at a recent augmented reality event.

What I’ve heard is that the game could be sort of like Second Life but, you know, a game. The idea, I believe, is that you will be able to construct your own in-game content using the fun and familiar mechanic of building with real world Legos.
GamersGame.com Blog: NetDevil Signs On to Build Lego MMOG

Clickable Culture raises the question of why anyone would use Legos to build in Second Life. The answer is that a tangible user interface(TUI) gives you perspectives that are hard or impossible to get via a screen. However, it’s not an either/or choice, one doesn’t have to use only one or the other – the meshverse is a universe of both/and.

Additional Links

The Lego Mindstorms site has additional coverage and pictures.

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1 Comment »

  1. Laurence said

    It’s notable that 10 years ago the Indigo2 and Onyx2 workstations used for the Lego Virtual Village project started at around $19K and $85K respectively. The prices could more than double when fully equipped. Even though few people could play with these at home, once you’d seen one and put on the VR gear, you knew TVIR was a question of when not if.

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