Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual worlds set for second coming

A couple years ago, big names in tech and business were rushing to capitalise on Second Life's popularity by building 'islands' and headquarters in the virtual world - or using it to sell products in a novel way.

But since that initial rush, things have quietened down. Media coverage of virtual worlds has subsided and some early adopters have abandoned their virtual activities after failing to reap benefits from the medium.

So are virtual worlds dead?


(Via KurzweilAI.net.)


Katie said...

There are people in SL that run successful (smaller) businesses inworld, and use it as their sole source of income.

And with the large surge of residents lately, and a marked increase in the amount of people logged in at any given time, this is a much better point at which to bring in big businesses than it was a couple of years ago.

But it's not going to happen until Linden Labs upgrades their shit. And they need to do it without alienating current paying residents by raising the fees on openspace/void sims up to 66%, after selling them to trusting users on the cheap only four months ago.

It's this very practice that has kept me from buying land in SL, and why after a year, my avatar is still "homeless". (Not that I don't spend money inworld, however. I can satisfy my shopping addiction much cheaper inworld than I can in the real world.) :o)

However, any big businesses checking out SL right now would be put off by the horrible lag. Customers aren't going to stick around for an hour waiting for your sim to rez, no matter how cool your environment/product.

It's a vicious circle. Raise fees on your individual residents to upgrade your interface and lure in big businesses, only to drive away the residents that would probably be these business' best customers.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Mac said...

Thanks, Katie. I was hoping you'd chime in! :-)

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