Mitch Wagner reports on a Second Life workshop that covered virtual architecture, and the new spoken-voice chat (still in beta).

Second Life architecture reproduces real-world architecture, even though the constraints of the virtual world are completely different from real-life architecture. Why do you need a roof in Second Life, for example? … Why have stairs in Second Life when avatars can fly where they need to go? … Bouchard described “reflexive architecture,” which evolves automatically as avatars interact with it. He demonstrated a room which changes its decorations and emits sounds as avatars move around inside.”

Bouchard himself writes…

“I think we’ve been approaching Second Life projects … like we do traditional architecture. We spend big on the initial concept and build, then hope it will attract crowds of people. But I think the evolution of virtual architecture should be ongoing, never ending. It should be informed by the people who use it … [my] next experiment is to develop a “wikitecture tree” that floats above the parcel … where all the different iterations of a design can be saved in the different “˜leaves’ of the tree. This wikitecture tree will allow people to come by and “˜cycle’ through all the different iterations within the leaves.”

I wonder if this principle might also be applied to narrative, on the back of increasingly sophisticated and reflexive AI scripting. I would love to see a sandbox game that actually writes its own narrative, and then records the play in a way that allows the player to easy edit it all up as as a linear feature-film after completion.