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A search engine for virtual world users

09 January 2009


A unique virtual world search engine developed by a team of experts at the University is due to gone live.

The Meta-Mole, created by the Centre for Design in the Digital Economy (D-LAB) based within the University's Institute of Digital Innovation, will ultimately be a dedicated searchable online resource for the 350 plus virtual worlds currently existing on the Internet.

Philip McClenaghan, Deputy Director of D-LAB explains: 'We were analysing virtual world platforms and realised that there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive service offering to list and compare key data for major 2D and 3D environments. This surprised us considering the current popularity of virtual worlds. We intend to fill the gap with the Meta-Mole.'

The Meta-Mole will help both new and experienced users looking for a virtual world environment as well as platform developers who want to gauge competition.

Searchable directory 'The Meta-Mole seeks to increase the uptake and success rates of Virtual World ventures by providing a searchable directory of available platforms, easily definable according to the need of the user', says Dan Riley, a Metaverse Architect at D-LAB.

All data contained within the Meta-Mole is provided by the platform developers themselves along with high quality official images and videos. The Meta-Mole allows for the sharing and comparing of information and provides access to the latest core, technical and specialist features on current virtual worlds, as well as those in development.

In addition to the digital industry, the team at D-LAB believe there are a range of potential users for this service such as businesses seeking a platform for new commercial opportunities and academia.

The Meta-Mole will initially be released as a Beta version focussing on 3D virtual world platforms. Forterra, Blink 3D and Twinity are among those who have already uploaded their details. Future developments will cater for all platforms, including 3D, 2D and MMO environments. Platform developers are able to participate in the Meta-Mole by contacting or visiting

For more information contact: Philip McClenaghan Deputy Director (D-LAB) Tel: 0044 1642 738103 Email:

D-LAB - Centre for Design in the Digital Economy is a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, designers and digital specialists located within the Institute of Digital Innovation (IDI) at the University of Teesside,

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