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Summary:

The Google Metaverse meme has popped up again. Michael Eisenberg, a general partner with Benchmark Capital in Jerusalem kicked off a fresh discussion about Google building its own metaverse, a.k.a a virtual world akin to Second Life. This isn’t the first time there has been talk […]

The Google Metaverse meme has popped up again. Michael Eisenberg, a general partner with Benchmark Capital in Jerusalem kicked off a fresh discussion about Google building its own metaverse, a.k.a a virtual world akin to Second Life. This isn’t the first time there has been talk about Google’s Metaverse dreams, and Business 2.0 had previously written about the potential of Google both creating a Second Life-style virtual world and potentially developing avatars to populate it.

What’s new is that Eisenberg heard about this from an academic source, and Google has been rumored to buy an in-gaming advertising company called, AdScape. We have been trying to dig up information on the Google Metaverse for a while now, and have had some modest luck. For instance, our sources in China say that Google has teamed up with a Chinese company to develop the “virtual people” or avatars, while an internal team develops the virtual world internally.

Our sources say that Google is working with a team of engineers who used to be key developers for There.com, and they are building avatars for this new service. Back in August 2006, we had called Google to confirm the existence of this team and the avatar project, and the company declined to comment.

We did grab lunch around that time with John Hanke,

Reuben Steiger, CEO of Millions of Us, a San Francisco-based company that builds virtual presence of corporations, says that a virtual world like Second Life might be more difficult to control for a company like Google. He points out that a more obvious move would be to create avatars and then add them to a more real Google Earth type environment.

Google doesn’t always embark on projects that are destined to be moneymakers, but Google could bring in a sizable population to a Google Metaverse – at least one that is comparable to Second Life.

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  1. Google Earth + SketchUp + AdScape = “Follow Me” Enhancements for Google Map with real billboards.

    Google Earth + SketchUp + Gaming = SimWorld knock-off… just with really real looking environment.

    It doesn’t have to be a 2nd life type thing.

  2. The beginning of Web 3.D – Google building a Virtual Adworld?…

    Is this the beginning of Web 3.D? No sooner does the BBC announce its plans for a Virtual World, then this note on GigaOm seems to imply that things are hotting up for Google’s plans too. This has been talked about on and off for a while of course, bu…

  3. Good read, Thanks!

  4. If this is true, then Google will have a tougher time in bringing all these together

    They already have a lot of stuff to put together. Remember even sergey once said he cannot remember all the google products

  5. How Lively? Google’s Me-Too Virtual World – GigaOM Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    [...] 8, 2008 at 9:41 PM PT Comments (0) The other virtual shoe finally dropped today– after a year and a half of rumors, Google (GOOG) now brings us Lively, a web-driven mini-virtual world. Not a contiguous, immersive, [...]

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