When Stephen Shankland interviewed IBM's VP of Technical Strategy and Innovation, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, at CNET's virtual offices in Second Life, much of the discussion centered on the need for the makers of virtual worlds to develop and embrace standards. At the moment for example, Second Life technology is as proprietary as they come. What's required is a way to join up future virtual worlds so that avatars can 'teleport' across different platforms, in the same way that users can hyperlink from one site to another on the existing 2D web.
Wladawsky-Berger is quoted as saying:
We need to make it easy to interoperate with other virtual worlds on the Internet and be able to go back and forth between virtual worlds and Web sites in an easy way. The problem now is the lack of standards like we had with HTTP, HTML (languages for sending and describing Web pages), etc. We need to create them across virtual-world platforms as well as Web sites.
He also suggested that this was an area where IBM would like to work more closely with Linden Lab (the makers of Second Life):
We have some conversations with the Lindens, but not much. It is something (on which) we would like to collaborate with them more, especially in the area of standards and open source. I think it would be very good to get the various virtual-world communities to participate in efforts to define standards and to define what it means to interoperate across virtual worlds--something that needs lots of innovation.