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Virtual Worlds, Distributed Interaction: Extending a MMOG with Remote Scripting, IM, Mobiles and REST
Stewart Butterfield, Yahoo! Inc.
Ben Cerveny, Playground Foundation
Eric Costello

Track: Social Software
Date: Tuesday, February 10
Time: 5:15pm - 6:00pm
Location: California Ballroom B

What happens when you expose the mechanisms for interaction with a massive multiplayer online game as a set of web services APIs and simple out-of-application interfaces for end users? The state of the game world, maintained by a set of server-side processes, becomes a model shared across multiple platforms from which the game world can be accessed. This proliferation of accessibility allows for interactions, which are not confined to a single client, platform or even network, and allows subtler, more pervasive modes of mixing game action and awareness with web, instant messaging and mobile experiences.

RSS feeds include files and remote scripting and can pull data from the game world onto a player's blog or into their own custom-designed game start page. And the same logic can be applied to other applications, allowing interactions between users to transcend the application where their relationship was established. IM bridging -- through "proxybots" -- allows users to chat with their in-application buddies over more mainstream messaging architectures or perform simple commands and queries without loading the client software.

Finally, using a RESTian interface, developer-users in the community can come up with their own applications and make those available to everyone, creating the possibility of ubiquitous availability over the net's heterogeneous patchwork of platforms.

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