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Moonwards Virtual Moon Colonies
The Virtual Moon Colonies (VMCs) are being created to provide a vivid an exciting locale for various kinds of projects. They can be settings for movies and shows, for all sorts of games from role-playing to sports, for interactive education, for virtual events such as conferences, art shows, or concerts, for hosting personalized or custom spaces for people or groups, such as apartments, clubs, or virtual showrooms.
What will make the VMCs compelling is that they accurately portray real places, and show things that could really be built and be done there. They would show people how a very important part of our future might be, giving them an engaging way to think about the future in general - its hopes, its dangers, the work to be done, the rewards to be reaped, the discoveries along the way about ourselves.
The key is to create a coherent world that anyone can draw on or contribute to if they do the work, and which thus builds into a vision. Once that vision is compelling enough, it will grow by itself. The work beyond that point will be to keep it true to its core value of portraying a technically realistic and sensible future in space.
Phase 1: At this stage, we are focusing on the power plant and overnight energy storage model, the first tether complex model, and models of the main habitats of Cernan's Promise. These will be the examples that illustrate how the virtual colony will be - how it looks, how technology is portrayed and the realism used, how information is presented, how users can work the models and move through them. The goal of this phase is to create things that people and groups would like to build on enough to that they fund and/or perform the work of Phase 2.
Phase 2: All models are completed, animated, and placed in a virtual setting that permits a range of interactions. Interfaces are created that facilitate adding to and modifying the VMC, creation of new versions, new ways to interact, and the recording of activities within it.
Phase 3: Projects based on the VMCs are initiated. Through partnerships, open collaborations, or contracts, a set of creations are made to illustrate its potential. There should be at least one short film, preferably two or three games that show the range of applications, one educational interactive, one setting adapted for live events (and an event held there), and one setting adapted to building personal creations within the colony (probably the building of homes and vehicles).
Phase 4: The colonies and related sites and software are expanded to allow maximum use and growth. There needs to be resources that make it easy to use the colonies for whatever project, easy to consult and collaborate about any kind of project, easy to add to the project but also a variety of mechanisms that maximize quality, organize things, document things, and ensure Moonwards doesn't drift from its core value of open access and open source.
The project is funded by renting advertising space within the VMCs, and renting virtual spaces for live events or for ongoing use. Space rented for ads or ongoing use shall not constitute more than a maximum of 10% of the volume of virtual structures, and 10% of the surface area of habitat walls, and may not be placed outside such structures in the landscape or environment of the virtual world. All assets of Moonwards itself, meaning all the VMC assets, the virtual worlds hosted by Moonwards, all content on the Moonwards website, and software owned by Moonwards written to support collaboration and contribution to the previous items, shall always be open-source, copyright-free, and free of charge. The Moonwards VMC may contain portals to games, shows, software, or websites that charge fees. The contents of this repository are under the Gnu Public License, version 3, except the logo files. Once the initial virtual world is ready to go online, the directory containing assets for that virtual world, currently only the folder 'blenderstuff', shall be switched to an MIT license to permit derivative works that are commercial and closed source. All 3d assets that are in the virtual colonies shall go into the repository directories governed by the MIT license, and software will also allow download and manipulation of those assets from within the virtual world or through the website.
The hope is Moonwards will ignite real discussion about the future of humanity, and even influence the course of our future. It has the potential to do so, or to lead to a subsequent creation that succeeds in that. This is important as we are in a time where poor decisions could lead to disaster. Our technical abilities are growing far faster than our societies can adapt to them. Technology imparts power, ever more power. To learn to use that power maturely, we need a place to think it through in all its many facets. That place can be Moonwards.