Wednesday, March 28, 2007

2nd Life Apple Store

Have you been to the Apple store on Second Life? It's amazing.... a virtual re-creation of the Manhattan 5th Avenue store. It was actually built by an avid Apple fan, one of the land developing residents in Second Life... NOT by Apple themselves. Remarkable what a brand can move people to do.

Some quick info on Second Life:

Over 4,000,000 inhabitants worldwide and is growing at a rate of 38 percent every month. Inhabitants create their virtual selves (called avatars), build homes, businesses, raise families --- in effect, role-play life in all its glorious mundanity, and all via the Web. The game has transformed conventional role-playing games into a sort of reality-playing game.

The estimated value of the Second Life economy was $64 million USD in 2005. Today, it is more than triple that. In late February of this year, Reuters tested and found that over 1.7 million USD was spent during a 24-hour period. It was recently reported that a Chinese language teacher has made over $250,000 in real-world cash by selling and buying virtual land. Governments are discussing whether they should impose property tax on virtual real estate.

Companies like adidas and Reebok are selling shoes in Second Life. Nissan and Toyota are selling cars. Westin and Sheraton hotels have begun selling hotel rooms for virtual road warriors, and IBM is investing over 10 million to move the company into virtual worlds --- it has already held meetings with top sales executives within the metaverse. The BBC has rented space to host live music, Reuters news service has a full-time reporter named Adam Reuters (or Adam Pasick in real life) who covers events as they happen. There are even a few virtual advertising agencies like Crayon that have simultaneously opened their doors in the real world and in Second Life.

Those who want to meet me there, my Second Life name is Galt Runo. You can also check out the Sony BMG space on Media Island. We're actually creating a Rolf avatar for this space which we're going to show at the upcoming Las Vegas MD conference... Rolf in lederhosen! Cool!

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