The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has this week chartered a new working group to work on standardizing one piece of the virtual world... um... universe. The working group is called Virtual World Region Agent Protocol (vwrap), and the chairs are me and Joshua Bell, of Linden Lab (no, not that Joshua Bell).
In earlier discussions of standardizing virtual world protocols, we looked at several of the different types of virtual worlds out there, considered the consequences of incompatible avatars, objects, and attributes, considered what it would mean to render an avatar from one world that teleported into another, and so on. And we considered the security/privacy implications of all of it. We decided that the first step needed to be a more constrained environment, biting off just one piece of the sandwich.
VWRAP is aimed at that: Linden Lab and others have started us off with a proposed protocol that will work for worlds that are designed like Second Life. It will allow virtual-world regions to be created by different vendors, virtual-world services to be provided from different domains, all put together into one world.
I’m looking forward to playing with this, and seeing what standardized virtual-world protocols can do for us. I think it’s going to be an interesting working group.