If you also think that hacking up 3D worlds on Android could be fun, then join me! Stuff you should expect to play with if you want to get involved includes Java, Android, OpenGL ES 2.0, 3D model creation, hyperlinked JSON and JSON rewrite rules. Creatives, evangelists and inspirers are also very welcome to get involved!
The idea is to make an app (NetMash) that lets people build, mash up, animate and program 3D worlds, shared online and all linked-up, Web-like.
Like creative-mode Minecraft, but adding easy in-world programming and shared online by default. Or maybe a bit like an open, distributed, generic, mobile Kodu (or here), for adults as well as children.
NetMash is intended to deliver creative empowerment to ordinary people. We professional software folk often get stereotyped as geeks, and the creative fun we often have dismissed as in some way unusual. That's a real shame, because such prejudice means that the other 99.9% of the world are simply missing out on the joy of experiencing the most creative and empowering activities humankind has yet invented.
So, success for NetMash will be measured not just by the fun we're having building it, but more strictly by its first users: which will include my 10-year old daughter, my 13-year old daughter who has Williams Syndrome, their granny and their mum! My wife runs Relax Kids classes in primary schools, so maybe there's an opportunity there to introduce the creative joys of programming to a wider group.
That's my own little world, but I'd also like NetMash to reach people globally that would not normally get access to the creative empowerment of programming.
Empowering the Disenfranchised
Maybe Thoughtworks would be interested in using NetMash in schools that we have contacts with, maybe in a non-Western country where technology and education are often less freely available.
Mobile is already changing the lives of the hitherto disenfranchised, through greater access to communications, finance and healthcare. Before long, the inevitable arrival of super-cheap Android devices means fully global access to advanced, connected technology, and a global demand for all the opportunity that this brings.
I'd like NetMash to be a part of all that, whether it's for a boy in a one-room wooden school, or a girl in the school down the road. Or her granny.