Bridging Worlds: Blending the Real World, Virtual Worlds and Everything in Between

Over the past several months, many people have been noting and asking us, "I'm still not sure what THE GAME (G.3) is. What is G.3?"

Phenotypically, G.3 is an evolving, open and collaborative supercompetition. Genotypically, the G.3's "genome" consists of every object, market, competition, idea, invention, created work, etc. that has been and will be created. The G.3's genome grows and evolves by adding and bridging these objects, markets, competitions, ideas, inventions, created works, etc. from the virtual/fantasy worlds with everything in the physical world; blending and mixing, for example, online and offline, fiction and nonfiction, old and new, past and present--as well as the future, digital and print, ideas that have proven to be successful and ideas that have not; the list is infinite.

Currently, the "genetic" nodes that make up G.3 come from anything and everything in the domains of sports and recreation, business, politics, internet, science, technology, arts and entertainment, and life/style; creating a supercompetion.

New G.3 nodes that are created and evolve from this blending and mixing can create new nodes that can include composite entities and composite worlds composed of virtual bits, real world elements and everything in between. As these new entities and worlds continually come into existence, grow, evolve and blend together, an essential element of G.3's growth and success is going to be its ability to connect seemingly disparate worlds. One example of this is bridging the digital and real worlds. Some of these linking applications exist today. Others will need to be created and/or developed.

From the perspective of a G.3 participant/consumer, there are ideas and technologies being proposed and ideas that currently exist that bridge the real world and virtual worlds:

  • Location-based games and live action role-playing games are two specific frameworks that can bridge the digital and physical worlds. Participants can participate in a competition and/or a scenario in a physical environment while simultaneously utilizing technology to provide a competitive advantage and/or to enhance the participants experience.
  • Multiple-Computer User Interfaces: “Beyond the Desktop” Direct Manipulation Environments is a paper by Jun Rekimoto, a researcher at Sony. He proposes a concept called "multiple computer user interfaces" (MCUIs) which dynamically combines multiple digital devices to perform a task, similar to combining several physical devices to perform a task in the physical world. By utilizing MCUIs, users can participate in a collaborative environment; moving information using “hyperdragging”--dragging and dropping a digital object between a PC, for example, and a digital table, digital wall and/or even a physical object; creating a link between digital and physical objects. Very interesting paper! Youtube used to have a demo video of MCUIs in action; if the video is reposted, we'll post it here.
  • Hardlinks are hyperlinks for physical objects. explains: "Just as a hyperlink takes you from one web page to another, a hardlink takes you from a physical object's reference identifier to a data store of information about that physical object. The medium for this communication is your cell phone. To use (BUILDhardlink's) service, point your cell phones browser to the top-level domain (TLD) gateway at" Here are some ways one can utilize hardlinks.
  • Virtual economies are observed in MUDs and massively multi player online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The largest virtual economies are currently found in MMORPGs. Virtual economies also exist in life simulation games which may have taken the most radical steps toward linking a virtual economy with the real world. This can be seen, for example, in Second Life's recognition of intellectual property rights for assets created "in-world" by subscribers, and its laissez-faire policy on the buying and selling of Linden Dollars (the world's official currency) for real money on third party websites. Virtual economies can also exist in browser-based internet games where "real" money can be spent and user-created shops opened, or as a kind of Emergent gameplay. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
  • Mytago uses tags that work like common barcodes to connect the offline and online worlds. Instead of using a barcode scanner, you use your phone camera to "scan" tags. You can take a snapshot of a tag with your phone camera and later get the details of the tag on your PC. The tags are created by you and linked to the the information you provide. Mytago allows you to scan the tags posted by others to get more information about an event or service and/or you can create your own Mytago tags to promote your own event, service or cause. Clearly, there are useful and interesting applications for Mytago in the development of THE GAME.
  • is a community-driven project whose goal is to connect the virtual and physical world by linking information from the internet to the relevant place in the physical world. You can create and distribute Semapedia-Tags which are actually cellphone-readable physical hyperlinks to Wikipedia or other Wikipedia projects such as Wikibooks and Wikinews. You can create Tags by copying and pasting a Wikipedia URL into a creation-form app . Starting the app will generate a custom PDF file to download and be printed. Once created, you can put the Tags up at their physical location. Others can now use their cellphone to 'click' the Tag and access the information you provided them. Like Mytago, an interesting way of linking the physical and virtual world using a ubiquitous cellphone.
  • The future of credit cards - earning virtual currency for spending in the real world. Very soon, proclaims Make Magazine, "credit card companies and game makers will reward their customers who spend money in the real world using private label 'rewards' credit cards. The credit card companies will use gifts of virtual currency such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft gold and Second Life's Linden dollars".
  • A research team in Dartmouth College proposes, "that in order to have a seamless integration between the physical and virtual worlds, and to maximize the scale of adoption, the system should rely on devices that people already use every day." They propose the use of sensors embedded in commercial mobile phones can be used to infer real-world activities, that in turn can be reproduced in virtual settings, such as Second Life.
  • The HP Memory Spot was proposed in 2006. The Memory Spot chip incorporates a processor, memory and a wireless receiver, all bundled together in a device 1.4 or 2 mm² (about the size of a grain of rice). HP says that the chip is so small that it can be built into almost any object. They have proposed several possible uses including ensuring that drugs have not been counterfeited, tagging patients' wristbands in hospitals, authenticating prescription-pill bottles, adding multimedia to postcards, incorporation into books, and storing image files on printed pictures to print an identical copy.
  • Linden Lab Builds Bridge Between Second Life and Real World With New Voice-Driven Instant Messaging Client
  • In May 2007, Starfruit placed a few virtual telephone booths in Second Life. From these booths, users in Second Life could send free SMS text messages to mobile phones anywhere in the real world. In July 2007, Starfruit opened its first real product shop. Users could send real gifts from Second Life to real life recipients. A Second Life user could buy a virtual flower or chocolates in a Starfruit shop. The recipient could in turn redeem the gift and receive the flowers / chocolates delivered by Starfruit's retail partners to the recipient's real life home, making it possible to send real gifts from Second Life.


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