Sex and video games is a very loaded subject. Sex and MMO’s is even more loaded. It seems when the topic of sex arises, the media gets into a frenzy, parents begin uprisings, and everyone begins to treat it as some sort of taboo thing. We all seem to forget that most people have had sex, even more have seen the act in one form or another. The reason sex is so difficult to discuss (while at the same time one of the most discussed subjects) is due to its nature of being a highly intimate act that creates and revolves around very important moments in our lives. With that said, the conversations that are had on the subject are not always the most compelling ones. There are very few intelligent, mature conversations about sex in the video game and MMO market arenas that do not revolve around legislative nature, or revolve around some sort of scandal. Most media cover the topic much in the same way Britney Spears is followed by the paparazzi. Then there’s items like this on YouTube, this presentation by Daniel Floyd does a great job in starting the conversation and making comparisons between sex and video games to film. Some very valid points are made, such as the way sex is used in video games. While it does seem unrealistic, immature and derogatory at times, it does sell.
On the Second Life Music Development List, there’s a discussion concerning price for music services in Second Life. The question brings to light a very important topic; how do you determine price in a virtual world? What would you charge a virtual person for your services rather than a real person? The economies of scale in Second Life versus that of the real world are quite different. While the Second Life economy is strong, the value of 1 Linden ($L) is not the same value of 1 United States dollar ($). Many entrepreneurs, business people, and hobbyist, benefit from this smaller scale, they are able to deal with larger sums of value virtually with little impact to their wallet. Determining prices is still an issue; it requires surveying, taking a look at the economic data, and the value of the provided service.
Gartner reports that 90% of corporate virtual world projects fail within 18 months. While there are several unknowns concerning the data gathered from the report, I am considering that Gartner’s report does not include projects that were closed but deemed successes, or is not intended as a permanent fixture in the virtual world space as failures. Gartner discusses many reasons why virtual world projects fail (such as a performing a project for a ‘cool’ factor or a competitor has previously done so) and uses examples of successful virtual worlds (Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin and BarbieGirls.) This is an indication that there are challenges when performing a project inside virtual worlds such as Second Life or There.com and suggest that these platforms are not conduits for successful virtual world projects. I diagree. I do agree with the message, corporations need to better understand the platform before hopping in to virtual worlds and expecting great sucess, but I fear that its steering people to an unsuccessful route. There are many reasons why corporate virtual world projects have a large failure rate deals specifically with the approach not the platform or the technology.
Dear Congressmen, Politicians, Law Makers, and the Popular Press, and affiliated people, groups and organizations. Before wasting my time and insulting my intelligence, please get your facts straight! I’m particularly talking to Representative Mark Kirk with his recent call for a consumer-alert warning about Second Life. He claims Second Life is a risk for children and they could be sexually exploited. In the same allegation he states he is unaware of any cases in which children are targeted by sexual predators on Second Life. Rarely have I had my intelligence insulted and my time wasted by your want to create false claims, allegations, and stir the proverbial pot. The reason you insult my intelligence is because you are searching for things, that while exist, do not find you, you find them! He’s not the only one who has made such claims, attacks, and allegations about Second Life. Other politicians and media are very eager to label SL as a sex brothel, or a place for terrorists.
I saw Iron Man on Monday and it is a great movie! What I was unaware of was that Iron Man is also in Second Life and doing something pretty cool. Annie Ok worked on the machinima film (see above) and informed me of an Iron Man in Second Life Contest with the chance of winning $L 100,000 (or roughly $400 USD). To enter you grab the Iron Man avatar, take pictures in Second Life, join the Iron Man in Second Life Flickr group and upload your pictures to Flickr. There isn’t much time left as the contest end this Friday, May 9th, at 10 AM PST (1pm EST). You can grab the press release here or visit the Flickr Group page for full contest details and information.
Understanding how to promote yourself, an event, or just to get the word out in Second Life can be a bit of a challenge, even for the professionals have trouble doing it. There are some tools and resources that are lacking in from the traditional marketing world and Second Life is a mish mash of press and blogs who covers a wide assortment of the action all independent of one another. While there are many methods to reach residents (such as notecard/texture dropping, group notices, and mass IM’s), they are limited, as most of them rely on targeting individual people/avatars rather than a global space of news.
With the lack of traditional tools, there are new tools and services that can help promotion in Second Life, most of them dependent on blogs and RSS feeds.