Michael Rowe, MBAThe MIT Technology Review article Moving Freely between Virtual Worlds said
Players hope to connect their separate domains to form a 3-D Internet.
Virtual worlds today are walled gardens, their 3-D landscapes divided in much the same way that AOL, Compuserve, and others divvied up the 2-D Internet in the 1990s. Now a group of more than 20 companies, including IBM, Linden Lab, Multiverse, and Forterra Systems, has begun talking about how to link together today’s virtual worlds to form a 3-D Internet by establishing a set of common standards. Although there are still many questions about what form that 3-D Internet might take, a major goal will be to make it possible for users to move from one world to another as easily as people today navigate between websites.
“We see this as the next logical step in the growth of the Internet as a whole,” says Michael Rowe, manager of 3-D Internet and intraverse (an in-house virtual world) for IBM. Rowe says that today’s walled-garden situation hinders the development of the Internet by making it exceedingly difficult to offer virtual goods and services in more than one location. For example, he says, someone who wants to create a virtual storefront in several virtual worlds now has to design and build the store separately for each world, using radically different processes. Standards for a 3-D Internet, on the other hand, might allow the shopkeeper to provide links that people could use to reach the store from any virtual world, in much the same way that people can now use a domain name, such as Amazon.com, to point to popular shopping sites.
Michael Rowe, MBA (AKA – Ultravox Freeman in Second Life) is
Manager, 3D Internet and Intraverse Department, IBM Research Group.
been a gamer
since the days of Pong. As a member of IBM’s 3D internet and Virtual
Worlds team, he is building the strategy for IBM’s growth in the
3D Internet. He has spent the last 3 years working in Virtual
Worlds including Second Life, Activeworlds, There.com and others,
assessing how to best leverage this technology for business and
collaboration. Importantly, he recently facilitated assessments on
new technologies for IBM’s CEO and other members of the senior
leadership team (IBM announced a multi-year plan for significant
investment in 3D technologies and social networking last year).
Michael has 22 years of IT operations, Systems Integration, development, consulting, and global project management experience. His experience includes a wide range of business areas including Accounts Receivables, Fulfillment, Human Resources, and Payroll, as well as multiple industries including, Computer Technology, Healthcare, and Distribution. His projects have been global in nature, with technical and management responsibility for teams in North America and Europe.
He has successfully implemented the consolidation of the Entitled Software and Systems Technology Group’s fulfillment SAP systems into one Cross Brand Solutions system, laying the foundation for IBM’s future Multi-Brand Enablement. He has held both technical and business roles across various divisions in IBM including Global Services and the Integrated Supply Chain. He has managed significant projects in manufacturing, logistics, and fulfillment. He has professional certification in Project Management.
Read Second Life and Other Virtual Worlds: A Roadmap for Research. Listen to his podcast series Trippin’ The Verse.