“Hyper” is what I usually call a person that’s suffering from the tricky combination of to much coffee, to much stress and not enough sleep. So, I kinda see why something could be called a ‘hypergrid’. It’s like second life but with more bass and more coffee. Right? No? Let’s try again: “a Hypergrid is a confederation of OpenSim systems that have enabled the Hypergrid facility. Each user has a home grid or standalone where their user profile, avatar appearance and inventory is stored. Users can travel from their home to a different grid or standalone via a hyperlink. When they arrive at the foreign grid, they carry with them the url of their home asset and inventory services.” Too long? Ok, one more time: “Hypergrid means ‘portable inventory’. No more having to leave your stuff behind.” I must say, with each definition change, I like it more.
Justin further writes: “The Hypergrid is a very promising architectural direction for OpenSim. It moves from a system of centralized services to one a user can seamlessly navigate between many different grids whilst sourcing their appearance and inventory from their own home services.”
As most things Virtual Worlds related, the Hypergrid is a concept still more than code ready for production use, but a promising concept none the less. More information at the OpenSim wiki. Besides all the technical limitations there’s one issue that stands out: What about DRM?
Scenario: User A has as home base Grid A. User B owns grid B. Now user B visits Grid A and buys SexToy A made by User A and set to no-transfer perms. Grids A & B are hyperlinked, so SexToy A gets transferred to Asset Server B. As User B owns Grid B he has the power to change perms on SexToy A to ‘full perm’. User B goes unto Grid C and has full perm powers over SexToy A which he starts selling cheaper than User A does on Grid A. Digital rights management fail? Probably.
So trust will become the most important issue on ‘the hypergrid’. Both User A & User C should have known better than linking their Grids with user B. Especially as User C runs a teen-oriented grid which he tries to keep SexToy-free. We might need a few more buttons on objects we allow for sale by when this becomes ‘common fashion’, don’t you think? Suggestions: ‘This may (not) be transferred on the hypergrid.’ ‘This is ‘all ages’ / ‘mature’. (And then hypergrid enabled sims could block incoming ‘mature’ items if they wished. But what if a Grid owner allows false flagging of ‘all ages’? Might be good virtual money in that business. Well, I then trust becomes important again.
Anyway, the above issues are probably ‘far ahead in the future’ and maybe the world has figured out DRM 2.0 by then. In the mean while, keep an eye on ‘the hypergrid’ to see how it evolves! More ‘pro&con’ and further thoughts at JustinCC’s blog.