My So-called Second Life: Roo Reynolds, Metaverse Evangelist
In 2005: 25% of gamers over the age of 50. 69% heads of American households are gamers. Hence interest from IBM: this is a big business. It's not about young geeky males any more.
Second life has >1m users, 400k logged on in the last 2 months. 8000 concurrently online. An active economy: $500k changing hands daily. It's not a game, it's "a platform for meeting, building, selling, collaborating and exploring". Sounds like an infinite game
Shows off BBC One Big Weekend concert in Second Life: a combination of user-generated content and social network. It's not an isolated experience. Within the game, "prototyping and making something are the same thing.". They did a simulation of the actual tennis play (ball trajectories etc.) from Wimbledon into Second Life... so people could watch the shot from a choice of seating in the game, and talk about it.
He went to a Second Life concert where Ben Folds chopped everyone up with a lightsaber. Apparently this was a lot of fun: but err how do you know it's him?
What's in it for IBM? "We have a lot of meetings and sometimes they're not much fun". They've begun augmenting some of the stuff they do in IBM. They're looking at using this stuff for community events, etc. People get together after a meeting and get together to talk, etc.
L'Oreal have a virtual office and use this as a recruitment tool.
Second Life is like the web mid-90s: yes, porn and gambling-ridden. It's become more commercial as real companies see an opportunity to promote their brand in-world.
Question: what are the revenue streams for IBM in this?
Answer: most of their money comes from services. V-businesses analogous to e-businesses?
I'm not entirely convinced by this - it all feels a bit "in the lab", and maybe I've been desensitised to the whole 3D world avatar thing. I can see it working as part of an escapist game or play, but as a serious tool? Maybe I'm just too old :) But then Esther and co. do exactly this sort of stuff within WoW... is that because it's the best way to do it, or is it just folks who want to communicate finding the path of least resistance towards doing that? The street finding its own use for things... (he said, vomiting slightly)