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Press Releases

- Living Forecast to Be Created by 3D Web and Virtual Worlds Communities -

Mountain View, Calif. April 19, 2006 – Today's advancing 3-D virtual worlds, massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), 3-D and video plug-ins, geospatial browsers, and social networking platforms are just five of a broad range of technology, economic, and social trends converging to transform today's internet into tomorrow's 3-D "metaverse," a transparently connected encapsulation of and progression beyond the current possibilities of the offline world.

The Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit futures research group, as announced the Metaverse Roadmap Project (MVR), a first of its kind collaborative effort designed to generate a 10-year scenario, possibility, and challenge document for the development of the 3D Web. Relying on input from key web pioneers and experts currently spearheading projects at companies like Google, Sony, Multiverse and Linden Lab, the Metaverse Roadmap aims to be a “living forecast” recurrently updated by thought leaders presently transforming and analyzing the industry.

“The pace of change in metaverse technologies, such as 3D and geospatial web, educational and serious gaming, sensors, and the interactive internet has become so rapid, and the opportunities and challenges so novel, that there is an unrealized opportunity for improved strategy through collaborative foresight in this space,” said Jerry Paffendorf, research director, ASF.

The Metaverse Roadmap (MVR) is apparently the first public attempt to map the emerging possibility space of the 3D-enabled Web. Assuming ongoing industry support after the first map is completed, the MVR will be updated recurrently to ensure the evolution of the model.

“Roadmapping is a tested industry foresight process that uses diverse "Wisdom of Crowds" inputs from competing and collaborating experts to discover and map areas of agreed opportunity, uncertainty, and technological, economic and social challenges to further development," said John Smart, president, ASF. “The MVR will be accessible, fascinating and aims to be broadly useful to industry, academia, analysts, the press and interested members of the general public.”

Charting major developmental opportunities and challenges for the metaverse is an intriguing opportunity for those presently building, studying, and critiquing the creation of 3D virtual worlds and their support systems. Corey Bridges, co-founder and executive producer of The Multiverse Network, observes that no single individual or company can to map the evolution of the metaverse.

“Roadmapping the metaverse is an incredibly complex and ambitious project, requiring sustained effort from a large and diverse pool of people,” Bridges said. “Even then, roadmapping is not nearly as challenging as building the metaverse itself. While some of us have already begun creating actual components of it, an incredible amount of work remains. To further drive the metaverse’s evolution, we will need to empower leading thinkers with the technical ability to translate their revolutionary ideas into reality.”

Like any complex technological system, Bridges believes the metaverse will be built organically, through collaboration and competition, with the market primarily deciding success and failure alike.

About the Metaverse Roadmap

The MVR is made possible by generous lead funding from virtual worlds consulting group, The Electric Sheep Company, founding sponsorships from The Multiverse Network, and the American Cancer Society, supporting sponsorships from Sony Computer Entertainment America and the Arden Institute, and strategic partnerships with New York Law School’s State of Play Conference, the Themis Group, and the Institute for the Future.

The project calls for the creation of a concise aggregated 10-year-vision document for the 3D web, to be released following the Metaverse Roadmap Summit to be held at SRI International this May. Forty-eight distinguished industry innovators, web pioneers, academics, and analysts will attend this special event to contribute their unique perspectives to the dialogue and supporting materials for the roadmap itself.

For more information please visit or contact Project Director Jerry Paffendorf or Project Manager Bridget Agabra at



Mountain View, Calif. August 17, 2007 – The Acceleration Studies Foundation, a nonprofit organization engaged in technology foresight projects, today announced the free online availability of its inaugural Metaverse Roadmap (MVR), a forward-looking public report that explores how the Metaverse and 3D web are likely to evolve and develop over the next ten and twenty years.

"The Metaverse Roadmap offers clear and dispassionate reports on how near- and long-term technologies will impact virtual worlds, augmented reality, simulation, and life-logging – four elements which together make up the Metaverse,” said Edward Castronova, associate professor of Telecommunications at Indiana University and founder of The Synthetic Worlds Initiative. “This document's cool-headed treatment is laudable. For even the coolest head, briefly surveying these developments all at once one can reach only one conclusion: A new day dawns."

For this project, the foundation set out to define, document and predict scenarios for the growth of the Metaverse and 3D Web. Co-authored by futurists John Smart, Jamais Cascio and Jerry Paffendorf, and based on the documented inputs from a Metaverse Roadmap Summit of 55 virtual world, geospatial, internet, and futures experts which convened May 2006 at SRI International, the MVR employs a simple model to illustrate key ways this rapidly emerging medium is extending its reach into the physical world and morphing to contain our personal, social and imaginary lives.

"No one can centrally plan progress in a new medium like virtual worlds, but thanks to a broad analysis like this, anyone can bring their passion to bear to help forge the future,” said Corey Bridges, contributing author of the report and co-founder of The Multiverse Network, Inc., a virtual world software company. "The Metaverse Roadmap is a perfectly timed call to action for the virtual worlds industry. Yes, it predicts, but more importantly it challenges grizzled veterans and enthusiastic neophytes alike, setting goals for those of us actually building worlds and associated technology.”

Janna Anderson of Pew Internet & American Life's Imagining the Internet project participated in the study and believes the MVR frames many key issues tied to communications evolution and humans' extension into a blend of Alternate Reality, Virtual Reality and Real Life. “It builds an awareness of what we might expect in the future due to the implementation of the GeoWeb, virtual and mirror worlds, life-logging, and so forth in our information-saturated lives,” Anderson said.

The Metaverse Roadmap

The MVR's findings are outlined in two documents. The first, MVR Inputs (75 pages), summarizes key insights in 19 foresight categories collected from the MVR Summit, and the second, MVR Overview (23 pages), synthesizes some of the Inputs into a series of narratives to explain important features of the change and opportunity ahead.

The yearlong analysis was sponsored by a small group of thought leaders inside and outside the IT community who are committed to public technology foresight. Neary $100,000 of donation and foundation money was raised for the work.

A goal of the MVR Project is to regularly update its ten- and twenty-year sponsored public foresight in this critically important space by periodically seeking the guidance of experts at sponsored MVR summits, and engaging in extended interaction with online communities through the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other media. For more information, please visit:

The Acceleration Studies Foundation

The Acceleration Studies Foundation is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit engaged in outreach, education, research, and selective advocacy with respect to issues of accelerating change. The organization’s aim is to help individuals, business, and government discover and intelligently choose a future of “exponential promise,” greater opportunities and benefits enabled by exponential growth in knowledge and technology. The ASF attempts to do this by educating clients and the wider public on near and longer-term technological futures and the mechanisms and meaning of accelerating rates of technological, economic, and social change. For more information, please visit:

Members of the press, please contact:
Bridget Agabra
Project Manager, Metaverse Roadmap Project

Leading Sponsor
The Electric Sheep Co.
Founding Partners
American Cancer Society
Multiverse Network
Online Game Services
Supporting Partners
The Arden Institute
Sony Computer Entertainment
Millions of Us
Rivers Run Red
Strategic Partners
Themis Group
State of Play Conference
Institute for the Future
Metaverse Sessions
Sponsorship Opportunities
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