This is the end of civilization as we know it. Well, ‘geek civilization’ because the classic Civilisation (TM) PC game that defined PC simulated worlds has become a real life card game. This might not seem like the shock to many but it is to those who grew up in digital world, where the experience of a ‘Civ’ computer match against an AI (artificial intelligence) made tedious board game equivalents Risk or Monopoly a pale version of fun. The Civ Card game is another example of a trend that is going to dominate the next generation of technology, as the lines between the digital and physical world experience become blurred. Today everyone plays games not just against a computer but with other people networked by the Internet. In this people-to-people digital world it’s a small step to make this a real life face–to-face game.

This move towards rematerialisation has been described in Business Week: “Web 3.0 should allow people to make real things, assemble real things, and have real experiences and deliver real services”. “Go beyond sharing recipes and share meals. Go beyond sharing photos and share reality.” The recent post on Augmented reality is a great illustration of one way this blurring of lines will develop. The other route lies in the connectivity of physical objects with the Internet and events as a part of the development of the semantic web, and the associated advance of smart materials and objects.

I would love to hear about any aspects of this trend, as it seems to me that as the world becomes smart enabled and the line between real and digital warps, then serious issues of trust become paramount. This is not simply what is real and what isn’t, but contextual what can be trusted in which environment. In this world we will need to become masters of this context if we are to keep a sense of what can or can’t be trusted.

here are some ideas of digital rematerialisation I’ve come across lately, I’d welcome your suggestions for any others…