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  IBM Rolls Its Own Virtual World  
 
 
Posted 2007-05-08 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
IBM staffers have created their own metaverse, according to eightbar, a blog authored by staffers of the company's "Innovate Quick" team. IBM recently announced plans to roll out a high-powered server capable of running massive virtual worlds, and has been tinkering with Second Life for about a year.

The IBM-created virtual world was spurred by "a desire to have a more secure intranet environment where [the team] can meet and explore the potential technology and social implications," writes eightbar contributor Ian Hughes, adding that "We in the IQ team are certainly not trying to be Second Life. We are however using some of the elements of virtual presence, and examining the potential balance of content creation versus deployable content in a business context."

The company is using Garage Games' Torque Game Engine, a low-cost game platform supporting dozens of simultaneous users (about as many as a single Second Life area). Hughes writes that the team is integrating their Torque-based virtual world with existing IBM communications systems: "What we need is the ability to gather some people together and use the human aspects of the avatar interaction to be more effective in our communications."

I'm not surprised IBM's Innovate Quick found Second Life unsuitable as a virtual workplace (although it's pretty good for certain jobs). Second Life service is notoriously unreliable and not so hot on the security front. As I understand it, Wells Fargo left Second Life for Active Worlds in part due to lack of security, and clearly MTV's decision to use the There platform instead of Second Life was partially due to the higher degree of control There offers. The Torque engine already been used successfully to power The Lounge adverworld--IBM's use Torque may encourage others to adopt it as a "roll your own," boutique alternative to larger-scale platforms such as Multiverse.
 
     
 
   
 
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  2 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by csven
May 8, 2007 @ 5:52 pm
     
 
*cough* headline typo *cough*
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
May 8, 2007 @ 5:53 pm
     
 
LOL, nice catch! Fixed, thanks :)
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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