- Ludic Cartography. Mapping Gamespaces
- Past Projects
- Preserving Virtual Worlds
- Research and Publication
An open source platform for deploying 3D multi-user online environments
The Sirikata platform grew out of several years of research at Stanford University. The software development was advanced through the Stanford Computer Science Department's efforts towards building a scalable platform for collaboration in networked 3-d environments. The Stanford Humanities Lab had gone through a number of commercial platforms for project work in virtual spaces and had determined that it would benefit from an environment that was not geared towards a particular use case. The Lab supported further development of Sirikata as an open-ended platform that could support a variety of use scenarios; an additional appeal was the opportunity to develop Sirikata as open-source software.
The research and development work underlying the development of Sirikata has resulted in a well described system architecture and openly available prototypes. The project provides a set of libraries and protocols which can be used to deploy and develop a wide range of 3-d applications such as multi-user games or a virtual world, as well as fully featured sample implementations of services for hosting and deploying these spaces. Fully realizing Sirikata's potential is a large endeavor and will require a wide collective effort, so the project has now been realized under the BSD open source license in order to enable the widest possible collaboration. The process of advancing Sirikata from a foundation in Stanford's particular needs and capabilities to a fully community-run and open-source project is well underway. The project is benefiting from growing interest across a range of academic and cultural institutions, as well as industry.
One of the key characteristics of Sirikata that differentiates it from other platforms is the combination of rich media capability with a strong orientation towards the World Wide Web. Development of Sirikata is based fundamentally on the idea that users will want to extend their existing work in a variety of digital realms to include the affordances of 3-d environments, rather than leaving everything behind when they move to virtual worlds. Sirikata is fully integrated with Google Chrome's browser, which gives this platform a unique ability to leverage existing web resources, as well the emerging cloud computing paradigm. An additional goal is to have Sirikata-based environments run inside common web browsers in order to ensure maximum accessibility.
In keeping with the open philosophies you can find communication channels, visuals, code and documentation freely available from the project website at: http://www.sirikata.com/