A free tool that allows anyone to create a virtual world has been launched.
Users of Metaplace, as it is known, can build 3D online worlds for PCs or even a mobile phone without any knowledge of complex computer languages.
The web-based program is the brainchild of Raph Koster, one of the developers of massively multiplayer online games such as Ultima Online.
Users make the virtual spaces from simple building blocks.
The results, which could be used for gaming, socialising or e-commerce, can be embedded in a webpage, facebook profile or blog. "We are out to democratise virtual worlds and bring them to absolutely anybody," said Mr Koster, founder of Areae, the company behind Metaplace. "You can come to the site, press a button and have a functioning virtual world that supports multiple users in about 30 seconds."
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