Metaplace, the web-based virtual world that never got out of beta, announced its closing yesterday. I never really became engaged with its interface for a number of reasons, but it did seem to have caught on for those who learned to build there. I could never feel a sense of presence with my avatar–maybe because I couldn’t get literally close to it. It seemed more like a paper doll. And the worlds, themselves, or at least mine, were not naturally interactive. I couldn’t even imagine it being of interest to children.
Another problem for me was that I could not explore it at work, because of a firewall–yes, it’s my job to do such exploration at work. Currently, I can only go to Second Life® at work, not Heritage Key or Reaction Grid or Quest Atlantis, without a formal request and temporary access. So, I couldn’t get a snapshot of my Metaplace world (Sangwin’s World) as it currently exists as I write, but here’s an older view that I will replace when I’m at home. Now, what am I going to do with that avatar name, Sangwin?
Update 12/27/09: The second image is the current view of my Metaplace world, with the blue arrow pointing at my avatar. You can see how small it looks and how hard it would be to feel a sense of identity with it. You can zoom in, but the pixel quality is then poor.