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When making music required a big, heavy and expensive piano and lots of lessons, music was good. Real good. But the electric guitar changed all that! Good thing!
With the electric guitar, all sorts of folks who didn’t have the “right” education and tools could teach themselves to play, and could afford an axe, and could play out anywhere. It changed music.
And not just in that it gave birth to the new phenomena of Rock & Roll. It changed ALL music. Everywhere. Even music that didn’t use electric guitars. The effect was more than just the use of the instrument itself.
And it helped change us. We became a different culture, based on rebellion and individualism and talent and style and power. The effect was far more than on just the domain of music.
There is some sense in which distribution media have affected the content developed for it, and even other media, and even our culture. But can you imagine Ali standing over Liston wielding an iPod? It might be cute pop-art, but it wouldn’t speak to the power of inventing your own revolution, in the way that is embodied by the electric guitar.
I think that Croquet or any other virtual world technology, when used merely as a distribution media, does not go nearly far enough. The medium itself should afford each of us new ways to create content as well as merely distributing it. So to me, the scalability of a collaborative world technology is best measured not in just how many people can simultaneously use content, but in how many can participate in creating it.