Someone sent me this article from Wired Magazine on Second Life and Virtual Worlds. The premise of the article is how many brands are spending millions to create in world destinations that no one will visit. To be honest, I've been of the same mindset for the last year. Although Second Life is a cool concept, there was nothing going on that would keep me there. I didn't get any satisfaction from being in world and most of the people I encountered struggled with maintaining a conversation.
However, it really is too soon to say how successful virtual worlds we be. We've barely scratched the surface with Second Life and with every early entrant there are bound to be issues. As additional worlds get created, the industry will learn from past mistakes and make drastic improvements. After reading the Wired article, I started thinking about what I hope virtual worlds will evolve into (for better or worse), so here are those thoughts:
- Websites as we know them will evolve into a virtual world specific to your brand, cause, community, etc.
- Like the Nintendo Wii, users will create avatars that they use to navigate these sites and communicate directly with business leaders, staff, and Influencers they are interested in
- "Avatars will leap frog through worlds as simply as we currently navigate through websites," which will drastically increase marketing opportunities as games and interactive components become more of a story than a distraction
- It's possible that some of these virtual destinations will be "pay to enter" where you can participate in say virtual paint ball, or other types of quick multi-player games beyond the World of Warcraft MMPROPG.
I could go on and on, but I'm really starting to see further into the future and I can't help but get excited. Does anyone else have any ideas about what might happen? I'd enjoy hearing other perceptions.