Monday, December 4, 2006

The Forge: What Do Paris Hilton and Second Life have in common

Indeed, Second Life is the Paris Hilton of virtual worlds at this point. It is famous for being famous, and little else. Linden Labs, its creator, likes to constantly trumpet the idea that SL represents new opportunities for real-world companies to make money virtually, but that’s simply a flat-out lie. Watch the video in the article I linked to above. SL’s technology can’t even handle two dozen people in the same location without the avatars skipping and jerking around like bad stop-motion animation. What’s truly unfortunate is that the real-world media is so clueless about virtual worlds that they just eat up Second Life’s PR like whores, never stopping to examine whether “Adidas opening a store in Second Life” actually means a damn thing beyond the initial press release. It doesn’t, and the cost to Adidas (or any other company opening something in Second Life) is so trivial that it’s a fire-and-forget exercise that never has to actually perform, since the press release was the whole point to begin with.


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