Gary Arthur Douglas II on the 3 Most Overlooked Business Opportunities in Second Life

Today's post is one in a series by virtual world artist and developer Gary Arthur Douglas II, a 15-year veteran of systems development and an accomplished artist to boot. Gary is the founder of Wishfarmers, LLC, a full service virtual world consultancy with expertise in content development, digital marketing, and virtual business plan development

The Case Before the Virtual Court

You may have read me elsewhere railing against “real-world
replication” in Second Life. If not, just take my word for it – to hear me go
on, you'd think I was defending the Sistine Chapel from graffiti artists.

I'm
referring of course to design models for Second Life that produce environments
you would see in the real world: Buildings have doors and roofs, meetings have podiums,
aisles of chairs and distant “back rows”, et cetera.

This is all really great – for making everyone feel less
connected than ever before. After all, no one is harmed if your avatar sits
right next to your favorite author's avatar – why shouldn't you be allowed to? But
enough of that.

How exactly do I get wound-up about an essentially aesthetic
issue? Am I just another native complaining about the gradual homogenization of
Second Life's funky and unique indigenous culture? Actually that's a valid
complaint, and a worthy cause (sign me up) – but the aesthetics resulting from “real-world
replication” don't wind me up. They just plain bore me.

But after years of listening to people complain about the
timid response to Second Life promotional campaigns for consumer businesses,
it's just impossible for me to not demand that the true culprit be acknowledged.

And the culprit is boredom.

Continue reading Gary Arthur Douglas II on the 3 Most Overlooked Business Opportunities in Second Life

Hiro Pendragon on the Shifting Focus of Virtual World Platforms

Today's post is a great read from Hiro Pendragon (Ron Blechner), former CTO of Involve, Inc. and a long-time writer and analyst of business and professional trends in virtual worlds. Hiro recently sat as a guest for a Second Life panel discussion about PBS's "Digital Nation" documentary.

This year will see increasing corporate and academic use of
virtual worlds for private, individual ventures. Marketing efforts in virtual
worlds are pretty much frozen solid, but will thaw a little proportionate to
the recovery of the economy.

Second Life will continue to be the industry
leader for interactive virtual worlds, while opensim-based and Second Life
spinoff worlds will enjoy success for ones that stay cheap or that cater to a
specific niche. But first, let's rewind to 2009.

Continue reading Hiro Pendragon on the Shifting Focus of Virtual World Platforms