Posted at 12:14 PM on October 17, 2007
by Julie Siple
So, someone recently left a comment on our blog: Second Life has claimed my attention, my allegiance, and some might even say my heart.
I’m sort of obsessed with this virtual world in which millions of people hang out. One of the many things I’d like to know: What do people buy in SL, and why?
I’ve been talking to SL residents about that. Turns out, some folks want hair that moves. Others want skin that doesn’t look rubbery. Some say more avatars will talk to you if you get out of those default clothes.
But, why? I mean, this is a fake world. Right? You don’t need to change outfits, consume calories, or smell like Calvin Klein perfume. Nor do you Need to look cool. No? So, why buy so much stuff? And what’s the cool stuff to buy? And are real-life companies messing up their chance to market in there?
I know, of course, that I might just have to go “in world.” So, my avatar’s name is Daisy Trommler. And first off, I will be getting new skin.
Are real life companies messing up their chances?
Short answer: No, they aren't.
I've been in SL for a long time, I have one of the original no-longer-available last names.
I've seen companies come and go - and the reason they go is because, well, they're learning it really doesn't increase sales at all.
Everyone wants it to be like the Metaverse in Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" but it just isn't there yet. The controls are sloppy, the interface is clunky, there isn't enough interactivity - if I want to go to a casino or strip club, sure - but there's a lack of other activities such as video arcades, race simulators, etc that are mainly due to the lack of technology available even right now.
Not to mention that lately SL has been branded as the defacto place where people such as furries and age players hang out and you can see why it is how it so.
Really, it's an awesome idea, and it will change things, just not right now. Not for the people it reaches.
When you can place SL into the hands of those in the 3rd world, then you'll see a leap.
I know I'm missing out on something interesting, but four years of blogging experience taught me that too many hours per day at a computer screen did nothing but broaden my behind and give me a stiff neck.
I love blogging and connecting with people online. It is very satisfying to have a new crowd to interact with and we can all use entertainment that is more satisfying than prime time television.
The emotional satisfaction of "online connections" that the previous commenter describes is really superficial after a while, though -- like the kind of praise you get for bringing a dessert you didn't make, but maybe had the sense to buy at the right store.
I also think that if there is something wrong in a person's real life, going online for a second one isn't going to make the first one better.