There were some comments to a previous entry that I thought were worth calling attention to all by themselves. The general theme of these was that of user interface and how the role of media in storytelling can inform the design of new UI paradigms. Highly appropriate for Brie.
So I’m moving those comments here. I want to keep the original page for the my attempt to define the heart of Croquet independently of UI, applications, and software distributions.
I think that some more insights along this line of thinking can be gleaned from Janet Murray’s “Hamlet on the Holodeck – The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace”.
One needs to understand first that most of communication, advertising, education, etc. is in some form of narrative, not disjointed facts without context.
Her premise: the physical properties of the technology of the medium defines the form, many customs, and much culture of the narrative.
Her summary of the 4 physical properties that will mold Croquet type environments:
1. Encyclopedic knowledge source
2. Rerunable, consistent rule base
3. 3D sense of place
It’s the “Encyclopedic” that Croquet is missing.
Croquet’s Achilles’ heel will be the temptation for too much integration at a very, very fine granular level and the disruption that could bring. For example, imagine all the MMOGs mashed together into one game, including the rules and art all mashed together. Or, if you think the web is messy, imagine if it was not combined at, navigated at, and visual graphic designed at the page level of granularity but at the word and sentence level of granularity.
Maybe insights might be gleaned from the 8 W’s of education that Croquet can fulfill better than the web or other tech:
Wow, HOH gets a bookmark. John, ya gotta check out Darius’ first link, above.
However, while I think this is all relevent to Croquet, I think you’re talking about a higher level thing than I am. Are you not talking about the media: the applications and the culture built on the technology? HoH and MMOGs and Learning Environments are analagous to novels, maps, textbooks, menus, or maybe (stretching it?) to books at large.
On this page, I want to think about the underlying enabling technology. More like the idea of page numbers, the printing press, moveable type, and libraries.
Yes, the applications are where the action will be, and many of my blogs are about things on that level. But I’m sort of calling a “time out” to look at the foundation.
Now, I could be misinterpreting. For example, I’m taking it for granted that, like the Web, the technology for indicating collaborations (my success factor 1.1) is world-wide, and that encyclopedic search and out-of-band cache can be built on top. Indeed, I want to avoid putting too much “integration” into the lowest levels of infrastructure.
I’ve been working on one of my rather rare longer essays for wetmachine.
it’s right down this alley. I’ll see if I can finish it over the weekend (and then maybe also work on that thing I’ve been promising Harold for the last 1 year. . ..
At the level of user interface and concept representation widgets…
That’s what this post is about:
Murray goes into the mechanical details of such an environment herself in her book. Please scan the book if you can. I only quoted her summary.
“Narrative” may sound high level, but the movie industry has tools that break it up into more mechanical pieces, including the mechanics of perception and information by implication. (It’s scarier what you don’t see, but think is there.) Some examples should be found in their vocabulary. In Croquet, you’re not talking about “pages” but “act 1, scene 3”.
The “Matrix” movie method of selection in VR in a white room many users can relate too, but has its flaws.
“Narrative” is a cognitive way our minds think, analyze, prioritize, remember, create and communicate labels that evolve the language, create identities, and role play for intellectual and emotional needs.
This day in age, with a mobile, active youth that moves in groups with longer range mobility not attached to the 3D PC, I think we must create Croquet with a mind to remote access. This would be via telephony on cell phones in combinations with IM as well as Croquet’s current total immersion. Sometimes you’ll need to just call/IM your avatar from time to time. Access will be high density relevant information packed snapshots of the Croquet world sent to the cell phone.
Augmented Reality should be a strong consideration too.
I fear that the Dynapad has already become too heavy before its creation, unless it can be rolled up or folded into one’s clothes.