A little more than a year ago, Raph started a new company named Areae, which has been feverishly working on a super-secret MMO-related project. Today was finally the official unveiling of Raph’s project, called Metaplace.
Metaplace allows anyone to build their own virtual spaces and treat them just like any other Web site. You can build chat rooms, store-fronts, online apartments, and all kinds of homebrewed games and attach them easily to your blog or MySpace page. Areae is even building their own full-blown MMO using the Metaplace tools.
From the FAQ…
Can I make my own world?
That’s sort of the whole point. You should be able to stage up a massively multiplayer world with basic chat and a map you can build on in less than five minutes. It’s that easy. Inherit a stylesheet — puzzle game, or shooter, or chat world — and off you go! Building maps and places is as easy as pasting in links from the Web, and dragging and dropping the pictures into your world.
Of course, as with any Web 2.0-ish social experiment where users generate most or all of the content, 90% of the resulting product will be complete crap.
Uh, sorry about that. Of course, that also means that 10% is pretty good stuff. If Metaplace really is as easy as they make it sound, it should be extremely interesting to see what kind of cool stuff we end up with…