Check out the International Association of Virtual Reality Technologies, which says it’s building something called a NeuroNet (announced in a press release today), that’s to be “a first generation network created specifically for the transmission of real-time, virtual reality (VR) and gaming data.” There doesn’t yet seem to be much to the organization, which bills itself as a kind of ICANN of virtual worlds, just a well made Web site, a few email addresses, a fax number and a mailing address in Vancouver. They don’t even provide a name of someone who’s heading the initiaitive. They’re holding a conference at the end of September (details to be announced in February) and they’re seeking advisory board members, but other than that, details are slim. The idea is well fleshed out on the site, however, and it’s an interesting one: to create a separate Internet-like network devoted to virtual worlds, virtual reality and gaming. But is this really something we need?
There’s a certain net neutrality argument in favor: This kind of thing might insulate such applications from the depredations of a less democratic Internet. But it would also serve to delink places like Second Life from the Web, which is one of the most exciting aspects of virtual worlds, if you ask me. Porting all these things over to a new network also seems like a highly unlikely prospect; who’s going to be the first to abandon a billion potential users? There are, of course, various alternate Internets being discussed or constructed, but none of these seem likely to gain widespread adoption anytime soon (nor is that the purpose of many). Could a NeuroNet for VWs, VR and games lend many benefits? Could it work? Could the men and women behind the curtain please show themselves?