The prediction is that, relatively soon in the future, this won't be the case. As in The Matrix, as in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, one virtual world (or metaverse, if you prefer) will connect everything together:
Within a decade, then, the notion of separate game worlds will probably seem like a quaint artifact of the frontier days of virtual reality. You'll still be able to engage in radically different experiences - from slaying orcs to cybersex - but they'll occur within a common architecture.
The heterogeneous environment of home computing in the 1980s underwent a similar transformation; now it's virtual worlds' turn. Whether a proprietary product like Second Life (which resembles a fledgling metaverse) will come to the fore, or whether it will (like the Internet itself) evolve out of open standards and protocols, only time will tell--either way, in ten years' time people will look back on this post, from their virtual homes in a virtual reality, and laugh.
[Via Terra Nova]
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