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Metaplace Announced to Resounding Meh

Raph Koster‘s new group Areae1 finally announced their product: MEATSPACE2 METAPLACE.

Raph was nice enough to give the BBC a preview. From the looks of it it’s building heavily on Raph’s personal quest of The Virtual World, except in this case there are going to be a whole BUNCH of worlds in addition to Raph’s, and WE make the content. Cuppycake, the Community Manager, tell us why we should care: apparently the Modders have all been bodily absorbed into the firmament, and thus we need to take up the reigns of design ourselves and make our OWN game worlds.

Reaction, predictably, has been mixed from both sides of the aisle. Mainly because, well…it sounds like Second Life. Granted, it appears to be a Second Life where you can play it ZOMG EVERYWHERE according to Cuppy3 up there. She says you’ll be able to play it on cell phones, blog sidebars, bars, refrigerator TVs, your iPod and your mom.

My question (and the question a lot of people have had) is “who’s responsible for the lawsuits?”

After all, the thing you’re going to run into is that some people may try and clone any number of games that already exist, and we certainly know that some companies are so anal retentive that they trademark relatively generic gaming terms and get litigious over it. Sometimes even real companies get in on the action, though when you have enough money and lawyers you can get pretty creative with your settlement terms.

I for one think it’ll be interesting, but unless it’s better-done than Second Life (which seems underdone, overhyped but with a great PR machine), I’ll be out in the cold again.

1whether you pronounce it “air-ee-ay”, “air-ee-uh” or “air-ee-uh-ee” is up to you
2Can’t take credit for the lulz there: from f13, via Lum
3not CuppaJoe, who is totally a different CM

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