"Demedusator" (1998) is a webproject by Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák (H) and Márton Fernezelyi (H).



Demedusator is a shared virtual world developed by its visitors. Any creative participant can "publish" his/her creatures - let it be a complete virtual world or sound, movie, picture - by placing them in a 3D world explorable by any (Web)surfer. People can reflect to the existing content by uploading something near to them, or they can create "a village of their own" by uploading the parts of it as contents placed in the same 3D area. The infinite container-space of Demedusator is ready to be inhabited: any pioneer can find an unsettled space-segment for his/her new virtual home.

The spatial location of the contents is creating an evident link between them: objects in the same space-segment are creating the context to their neighbours. The aim of Demedusator is to enhance this simple "link-catalizing" nature of the 3d world: the next versions of the system will provide several ways for the authors to create various types of links between the contents, and the ability for viewers to browse only the related objects by downloading subsets of the entire Demedusator world (worlds which are consisting of only the linked content regardless to their original location).

The "interface" to the multimedia publication is the Cryptogram-system: Demedusator enables the users to add their parts to the VRML scene, but the uploaded files are (first) appearing in form of encrypted sculptures (Cryptograms) to the observers, the original content can be decrypted (viewed) by touching the silent objects. The system of the Cryptogram-encryption offers a way to explore the world without having to download all the multimedia-files first: visitors can browse the context, and decrypt the desired content linked to others through 3D locations.

In 1945, an engineer named Vannevar Bush published an essay titled As we may think, in which he presciently described a machine (the MEMEX) that is generally regarded as the literal blueprint for the Net and the World Wide Web. The "infostructure" Bush sketched out - including a proposal for what is now known as hypertext - was destined to be realized in what we now know as the Internet. But the vision Bush described is far more sophisticated than what we call today "Web": MEMEX, the virtual computer is a container able to handle any kind of information (let's say "multimedia data"), and provides a very complex and customizable "linking system" with various "trails", created by the users. The browsers of the 1990s lack the lots of linking features of MEMEX: those open and customizable "trails" that are nearly impossible to implement using basic HTML.

Demedusator recalls these questions: the explorable 3D world is based on a database which keeps track over the uploaded files, their locations, links, trails and attributes. The VRML file received by the visitors is generated from these well-organized data, offering the possibility to download subsets of the entire world: objects far from each other in their 3D locations but bound to each other by links/trails can be embedded in a "subset-world", where the related pieces of information are located next to each other.


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