Let’s Talk: Virtual Worlds
TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Let’s talk: Virtual Worlds
Ross Cheeseright, Strategist Candidate, Asgardia
10 September 2017
In this series, I’m going to be talking about Virtual Reality, its applications and why I believe that it could help Asgardia to achieve its goals. I’ll be using the term ‘virtual’ and ‘augmented’ interchangeably.
I have already written a report at length regarding how Virtual Reality will change distance learning, so if you’re interested, I encourage you to go and read that report some time, too.
Today’s ‘let’s talk’ is going to address the concept of a ‘Virtual World’ and why I think it’s important to the future of Asgardia.
What is a Virtual World?
A virtual world is a digital environment that has been generated using game development tools such as Unity or the Unreal Engine. It is primarily made up of 3D models and artwork and it forms the basis for the ‘land mass’. It can be designed in any way imaginable. Using one of these game engines, it’s possible to apply simulated physics to the world, too so that objects within the world behave like they do in real life.
Imagine exploring our own virtual world.
Photograph via Unsplash
Why do we need a virtual world?
Asgardia is made up of a very widespread population. We have people from 217 countries all operating on different time-zones and speaking different languages. Now, it’s very difficult for people to come together and feel like a unified population.
The Internet dramatically changed how bonds are formed between people, the internet has given us some brilliant tools for communication and collaboration across vast distances. It’s now possible to have friendships with people that you’ve never met.
The Virtual World will take this one step further, it will allow people to communicate directly and share experiences together. It will give these bonds a sense of tangibility that wasn’t possible before.
Further to that, it will enable things such as the emulation of touch and the stimulation of lights and sound.
This technology will help Asgardians come together to start to form even more meaningful social bonds and truly start to unite as a people.
“One of the key requirements for independence is that we must have a clearly defined territory.”
The Internet and Virtual reality is making it harder than ever to define things by the traditional sense. One of the key requirements for independence is that we must have a clearly defined territory. Now – practically speaking, this isn’t possible in the ‘real world’ as we have no land available to settle on.
Having a Virtual World where every citizen of Asgardia can have a ‘home’ and can reside in might help us to show the international community that we’re more than just a wide-spread decentralised group of people.
Virtual Asgardia would allow us to offer up that ‘clearly defined’ territory, at least in principle – and it would allow us to do it in a peaceful and technological way that wouldn’t infringe on the sovereign rights and territories of the international community.
We could create our world however we like.
Photograph via Unsplash
A perpetual ‘hub’
As we move into space and we settle on platforms, the moon, mars or other celestial bodies, our people are going to be further and further apart and we will still have the same issues of ‘decentralisation’ that we have now. If technology continues to advance at the current rate, it’s possible that people from all around our globe on Arks and space platforms and those still on Earth will be able to stay connected through the Virtual World to continue to share ideas, meet up, collaborate and bond.
Simulation of a possible future.
Having our own virtual world with space that we occupy will allow us to see, in principle, what life will be like for Asgardia. It will allow us to test how things will work in our community in practice. With people coming from all over the world it will create a huge influx of cultures and we don’t yet know what it will be like to merge all those cultures and ideas.
Our virtual world will give us a chance to test how compatible we are as people, and how willing we are to change and adopt new cultures and ideas without having to spend billions of dollars creating Arks first.
It will also enable us to test how well our government works in principle, how well certain elements of our legal system will work and it will generally give us a taste for ‘life’ as an Asgardian.
It’s a lot to think about, and in future blogs in this series I will be going into more detail about ‘Virtual Asgardia’ and why it could be a huge boon to our project.