Solipsis, open source decentralized Metaverse
URL = http://www.solipsis.org/
"Solipsis is a pure peer-to-peer system for a massively shared virtual world. There are no central servers at all: it only relies on end-users' machines.
Solipsis is a public virtual territory. The world is initially empty and only users will fill it by creating and running entities. No pre-existing cities, inhabitants nor scenario to respect...
Solipsis is open-source, so everybody can enhance the protocols and the algorithms.
Solipsis is also an ongoing research work, as explained in this research proposal." (http://solipsis.netofpeers.net/wiki2/index.php/Main_Page)
Update description from home page, june 2009:
"A French R&D project (ANR-RIAM) leaded by Orange Labs, funded by ANR and Media & Networks cluster of Brittany, launched in January 2007 and based on prior works dating from 2000.
What are the Aims?
Create a public, massively-shared and user-generated unbound digital universe, sustained by a dedicated Peer-to-Peer protocol, with a modern day rendering engine and some great and accessible 3D modelling tools. In other words: a decentralized Metaverse platform.
Why a P2P Architecture?
Because servers are the bottleneck of every massively-shared applications, virtual worlds and online games. This bottleneck limits their scalability and bounds the freedom of the virtual world's inhabitants. As many others, we believed that a decentralized system is the solution to deal with the increasing size of this kind of application. Easy to say, hard to do."