Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Still Driving to the Shopping Mall ??

Have you checked out the latest in virtual communications like Second Life or Habbo Hotel ??

If not, do it Now !

Interaction btw people, real and artificial is changing . And this was something that happened when you were still trying to master that keyboard.

Virtual worlds are maturing from just gaming and test projects to real world experiences. Today you have worlds that people have created and hangout in. Real estate is being developed in these worlds and is being sold or thounsands of dollars. Business is is being transacted and Cases of virtual social justice are being heard. Yes its true. And as you may still want to close the deal on the prime property at the city centre, its time you gave a serious look at virtual worlds.

So, Why live virtual lives?
Rising cost of gas, busy city lives and just the fact that friends and family are scattered around the country are just of few reasons people will chose to live and perform some activities online. The online shopping experience is still poor and the best sites are still just ok to buy one or two items, but stuff like shopping your groceries is a very poor expeirience in the urrent browser based formats . In virtual worlds the experience is difinitely much richer and natural than its browser conterparts. You can walk into a store, check out the aisles and pick up stuff you want, Take a stroll in the park or Attend a virtual class room.

So What do I do in a Virtual World?
Chk out some of the scenarios here like shopping in a mall, very soon you may have all the biggest brands with full format shops in these virtual worlds. Today You can hangout with your friends at the virtual mall even though you are in SanDiego, California while your firiends are in NewYork or Ohio or Bangalore, India. You can shop real world stuff and get them delivery the same old way.

But is it kids stuff, or Is there some $$$ Real Money ??
Yes there is money, although we are at the very begening of the virtual experience , players like Second life are already seeing 10s of millions of dolloars being exchanged in the virtual worlds.
"SL’s now-thriving economy, currently has an annual gross domestic product of $64 million (U.S. dollars). Residents buy and sell Linden dollars for real money (Linden takes a small cut of all currency exchanges) and can do a brisk business peddling everything from developed real estate to exotic body parts for residents who don’t want to design their own. "- PopSci Magzine

Ok, I still cant go to the Moon, but what are the options for vitrual worlds
Second Life is by far one of the most popular virtual worlds. Habbo Hotel is a vitual hotel but is a 2d experience. ActiveWorlds is similar the SecondLife and is in full 3d.

There are many more examples and we are yet to see big competition in this space. But, watch out! This wave is as big as the web browser. If you run a business/ or are responsible for managing one , you have the option to align or be left out.

Make the choise now .


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