High Fidelity, Philip Rosedale’s new virtual world project, released more details on how they plan to do things. This is information about their authentication process.
For the general users the diagram probably doesn’t say much. I’ll describe what I think the basic idea is using Second Life. This is just a ‘sort-of-how’ to get you and idea of what they are talking about.
In SL we login. That is done on the SL “LOGIN SERVERS.” They verify that I am me. Then provide my viewer a token so it can show me in world as my avatar or as the Lindens call my avatar an agent. The agent is known in the system by its UUID.
The login process is all about verifying I have the right to use the UUID associated with my avatar and SL account. UUID’s are used because for practical purposes there is an infinite supply of them and it is easy to generate new ones without fear of duplication.
There is more to it, but simply said the login server gives my viewer my account’s UUID and I am in world.
If I am understanding HiFi’s idea something similar will happen, but with added features. A region owner could be satisfied with using my UUID in our dealing. All financial transactions will go through HiFi’s payment servers. The region owner would not know me but funds can change hands and merchandise placed in my inventory, very much how SL works.
But, in HiFi depending on what I permit and the region owner wants, more identification could be exchanged. If the region owner required full RL identification and I permit it, the server would provide it. If I am not willing to provide the level of ID required by the region owner, they could prevent my entering their regions. Both sides would have more control.
I am sure Philip is well aware of the griefer problems we have in Second Life. This would be a step in reducing those. Plus if the idea works for HiFi then it would likely be adopted in other Internet uses. The idea is one would have to provide RL ID to the HiFi servers with financial data. But, could remain anonymous in the virtual worlds.
Philip is thinking removing name tags in world would be a good idea too. See his post on in-world identity.