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

Update: Wal Mart’s “Virtual Clothing Store” Hopes to Redefine E-Retail

Back in September 2009, Pixels
and Policy reported on how designer Norma Kamali planned to introduce
her line of Wal Mart clothing exclusively through virtual worlds.
Prospective customers could create an avatar with their measurements
and quickly flip through an entire collection of clothing as if they
were in the infamous retailer's fluorescent halls.

Today we take a look at how Wal
Mart's virtual clothing stores reinforce another argument we've made in
the past — that advertisers are getting smarter about how they market
products in the virtual world.

Continue reading Update: Wal Mart’s “Virtual Clothing Store” Hopes to Redefine E-Retail

Are Virtual Worlds Turning Pre-Teens into Informed Consumers?

One of the best indicators of virtual worlds' long-term commercial sustainability is the ability of a world to turn users into active consumers. Radio did this by monetizing broadcasts through advertisements. Television does much the same through product placement and celebrity endorsement. But these are both decidedly passive forms of marketing.

Some interesting new research from the marketing website Mad.uk sheds light on just how effectively virtual worlds are transmogrifying entertainment-seekers into potential customers. Pixels and Policy takes a look at how pre-teens in virtual worlds are slowly headed towards consumer consciousness.

Continue reading Are Virtual Worlds Turning Pre-Teens into Informed Consumers?