Recently, three pioneers in Chinese virtual world industry, Hui Xu (H.X), founder of HiPiHi, Weijiang Zhan (WJ.Z), founder of NOVOKing and Peng Ye (P.Y), founder of UWorld have been invited by a popular online media
Yesky (ChinaByte) and shared their views on the metaverse. Just in case you are not familiar with Chinse virtual worlds market, HiPiHi was the first revealed Chinese virtual world and its private test was launched in June (March); NOVOKing has been developed for over 2 years and it just launched its private test in September; There is a little news about UWorld as it is in development stage still but is approaching the private test. (read our previous coverage on these virtual worlds.)
It was a great conversation. It is really a pity I could not translate every words here, but I picked up a few points interested me here:
What’s Virtual World –[H.X] It is next generation of Internet, a 3D Internet. It is more than the text, image and hyperlink. [WJ.Z] it is a virtual environment, a virtual space where you can have your social life. Whether it is defined in 3D or 2D is not really matter; [P.Y] It is a virtual society where people can live, work together and also create value.
Chinese Virtual World and Second Life –[H.X] We have exchanged the ideas with SL for a few times, and SL of course is most popular topic in this market. However, we do believe the future of virtual world is in Asia, especially from China. Some Chinese left SL and live in HiPiHi, the reason is simple, they felt they are home. I gave a speech in Virtual World conference, and the title is Virtual World, A Chinese Dream. Chinese has created thousands years history and we can create a virtual world with our culture. Tens of users have started building the Great Wall in HiPiHi, which is amazing. [WJ.Z] SL is a very good example of virtual world, but it is not everything about the virtual world. End of the day, it is just one of many vitual worlds. We are creating another virtual world for Chinese. We have very different legislation system, social culture, and Internet market, and we have to consider all the aspects to work out a new route to guild Chinese users to this new world, instead of a simple copy of SL model. We can not expect that the majority of Chinese netizen understand how to create its virtual life, and it is very important for us to spend more effort to provide a well-established virtual life to them at the very beginning.
The Inter-connectivity of Virtual Worlds –[H.X] We have to open the virtual worlds, and Open is the Internet all about. Every operator will benefit from the standardization of
the Virtual World. It is the human rights (avatar rights) of every user live in the virtual world. The avatars have its right to travel through any virtual worlds freely and enjoy their virtual life. [P.Y] We definitely need to do something together right now. Our three virtual worlds have not gone to public yet, it actually is the best stage we can work out some protocols which can make some basic models of inter-connectivity happen. China is open to the world and is growing so fast; It is not easy the implement a perfect inter-connectivity, but the importance is that we (three virtual worlds) have bring this topic on the table and try to make it happen. [WJ.Z] The inter-connectivity will generate more value to the users. It might take a long time to have a perfect inter-connected virtual worlds system because of the technical issues, business models, but it is the trend. In China, the virtual world market is not mature, even you can say the market does not exist yet, so it become very important for us to create the market and train the market, and inter-connectivity can definitely help on this.
Virtual World and Real World –
There will be no difference between the virtual and real world. Virtual life will be a part of everyone’s real life, and everyone might become the emigration in the virtual world;
The Ecosystem of Virtual World –
The Users, we need attract more users into the virtual world; The Industry, we need partner with the industry, like Intel, IBM and many others to bring more value to the users; The third party developers, we should help these third parties create more virtual properties, product etc to enrich the virtual life.
So China has three virtual worlds. There is no competition, only cooperation, which sounds a really good thing.