Yay! That Koster has finally publicly fessed up to what Areae is. "It's the logo!" he'd laugh, to people who asked at trade shows. "It's all there." This was usually met with some bafflement. It's a spaceship and a castle and village and some people in skin-tight outfits?
It's atoms and linkage!
"We are re-inventing virtual worlds that stop working like AOL," Koster said, "and start working the way the Web does....You can build a massive multiplayer game in minutes there are style sheets to make building easier.
Koster said that Metaplace would allow users to employ Web 2.0 tools like tags, wikis and forums in the pursuit of quickly and easily making usable, fun virtual worlds.
He's been talking about opening up MMOs - or even networked multiplayer - for a while now, persistently pointing out that web-based playspaces like Club Penguin and Habbo Hotel are more popular than even the biggest trad MMO, World of Warcraft. Of course, they're different experiences too: a WoWer is unlikely to be satisfied by the more simple experience that is Habbo; equally, a Habboite may well be loath to invest the 3+ hours a day required in order to think of competing in WoW.
The great thing about Areae - and others; VastPark just recently announced something similar-sounding, and Multiverse might make the 3D MMO a little simpler in places, plus there's always StudioCom's stuff for MTV, and Whirled - is that it's rushing into the enormous empty space between traditional Gaming and the Web. Playful web, or gaming 2.0, whatever you want to call it, there's a ton that each area of expertise can draw from the other in order to create some new frankensteinian wonders.
Metaplace is a next-generation virtual worlds platform designed to work the way the Web does. Instead of giant custom clients and huge downloads, Metaplace lets you play the same game on any platform that reads our open client standard. We supply a suite of tools so you can make worlds, and we host servers for you so that anyone can connect and play. And the client could be anywhere on the Web.
UPDATE: tons of very detailed details here.