Volity: open-source interactive environment for games
by Andy Oram
Volity provides libraries in Perl and Python. These aren't so much for creating the settings, pieces, rules, or moves of a game (those are all game-specific, and you do them on your own), but for the wrapping that makes it possible to sign up players and get them communicating.
With Volity, for instance, gamers can easily search for other gamers and invite them to games. Volity handles all the messages passed between gamers, and does so quickly and efficiently, although it's not designed for intensive twitch-based gaming (as Jason called it) with real-time requirements. Gamers can chat while playing. A reputation system is being developed (personally, I think that will be the hardest part).
That is indeed nice...an open source platform for interactive games...in fact, I think this is a trend that will only strengthen with time - open source software platforms for niche application areas and industries, and perhaps going further even, domain specific open source (non-software) platforms - such as open source hardware, or open source alternative fuels movement etc...