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Augmentalists vs Immersionalists. Which one are you?

The SL Reuters website has picked up on a recent research project initiated by the US Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. The research, conducted by Zogby International asked 3,585 adults questions relating to attitudes towards technology.

The particular question understandably focussed on by Reuters was:

‘Some people are now participating in virtual worlds such as Second Life. Lets say youre creating a virtual you in a virtual world. Would you dramatically alter the avatars physical appearance from your own?’

So, what we’re getting here is the way people choose to express themselves via their avatars. In the red corner we have ‘Augmentalists’ – people who view their avatar as an extension of their real world persona. In the blue corner are the ‘Immersionalists’ – those who view their virtual world presence as mutually exclusive from the real world. Augmentalists typically choose to customise their avatar to closely resemble their real world apperance, whereas Immersionalists do not. More insight into these two types here.

So, the findings….

A majority of 44.2% of the research participants opted for ‘Keep me just about the same as I am’, whilst the opposite, ‘I would dramatically alter my physical appearance’ represented 14.7%. Continue reading →

Virtual world marketing according to Habbo

Timo Soininen (CEO of Sulake, owners of Habbo) features in a short but sweet interview over on BusinessWeek [Full article here].

Soininen lays down their impressive user and engagement numbers – 86m registered users and 8.3m unique visitors/month. As this graph shows, Habbo is a major force in the metaverse space.

The CEO then went on to give his opinion on brand and marketing strategies in web 2.0 enviroments (including virtual worlds).

Brands in virtual worlds and social networking sites have to be unobtrusive. The idea is less to be about a specific location or room, and more to become a topic of conversation, something users can take with them. In Habbo that takes the form of digital items purchased via micro-transactions, the millenial version of that Guns n Roses poster on your bedroom wall

He then further added:

The real beef for advertisers online, is in community activities. If you want to get meaningful reach, that’s where it is.

We took exactly this approach with our recent campaign for L’Oreal Paris in Second Life. We deliberately steered away from building an island and asking residents to visit it and instead worked closely with existing retailers on mainland locations – places with large, strong, loyal customer bases firmly embedded into the SL economy and distribution network.

Continue reading →

Virtual Worlds BusinessCast 11: IBM

In the latest Virtual Worlds BusinessCast, Mike O’Hara tracked down Roo Reynolds and Ian Hughes.

00:12 – Mike OHara introduction
00:40 – Start of interview
01:01 – What is a metaverse evangelist? (Roo)
02:16 – What is IBM actually doing in virtual worlds? (Ian) Continue reading →

Amorepacific leads the Korean wave

With access to Second Life for Koreans only recently officially opened, we’re now starting to see the first few companies from this country create presences.

One of the first is AMOREPACIFIC, a cosmetics company. The project is due for launch tomorrow (Jan 31st) and will feature five brands: Laneige, Mise En Sc?ɬ®ne, Hera, Sulwhasoo, and AMOREPACIFIC.

It’s an ambitious venue with a lot going on. The Company hall charts the history of the company, starting from scratch soon after Korean independence and rising to become the global company it is today. In the Laneige hall you can have a high class make-up simulation experience and view promotional videos starring Korean celebrities. The Mise En Sc?ɬ®ne hall offers total hair care in the virtual hair salon, and you can watch short Indie films in the cinema. Visitors will also receive presents containing make-up, accessories, skin and hair from each brand.

The developer, ACID CREDBIZ from Korea points out that:

Second Skin, a documentary on virtual worlds

Two years in the making and coming out very shortly, Second Skin is a documentary movie exploring how virtual worlds affect real people. The trailer shows that the film focuses more on MMOG’s than virtual worlds, but nevertheless should be required viewing for anyone interested in this our space.

The movie poster is pretty cool – taken from for Flickr stream for Pure West Films. And of course, they have a blog.

iMagicLab to launch customer relations centre in SL

Automobile CRM software supplier ImagicLab is to launch a new Automobile Dealer Relations Center (ADRC) on AutoLand in Second Life.

Slated for opening March 1, the island is being positioned as a customer support and information venue. Visitors to the island can expect to see a new multi-brand showroom, experience custom cars and chat with up to fifty nationwide car dealers at a time about pricing, availability and service issues.

Richard Keith Latman, iMagicLabs Chief Executive Officer said in the press release Continue reading →

29 Jan

More movie deals in kids worlds: Habbo and Paramount

Kids/Tween Worlds

The Hollywood Reporter is carrying a story relating to a freshly penned deal between Habbo and Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment.

The deal will allow Habbo to have merchandising rights in North America for (initially) Beowulf, Mean Girls and The Spiderwick Chronicles. Merchandising rights means the ability to create virtual products based around these films – a highly popular and lucrative proposition.

This deal follows similar agreements in the kids virtual world space involving Gaia (with Sony and Warner Bros) and Kaneva (Turner Broadcasting). Continue reading →

29 Jan

Competitive rivalry in virtual worlds. Part 4/5 – Threat of substitutes

How likely are residents of one virtual world to switch allegiance and join another metaverse? In the fourth of this series examining competitive rivalry in virtual worlds, the factors affecting substitution will be identified and examined.

The early posts in this series are:

  • Power of buyers
  • Power of suppliers
  • Threat of new entrants

Switching costs

What are the associated costs of switching from one world to another? These costs can be determined as either hard (financial) or soft (time-based). Continue reading →

28 Jan

Hilton + Heroes = SALT


Virtual World News that Virtual Heroes (an Advanced Learning Technology Company) has built a 3D environment for Hilton Hotels, designed to help train employees.

Hilton employees are placed into a virtual Hilton Garden Inn and given various tasks whilst dealing with griefers AI guests.

A really good use of a virtual environment. The full story is . Lot’s of applications here, such as: Continue reading →

28 Jan

Another car build: Lancia


Following their parent company Fiat, Lancia are the latest auto-brand to drive into SL.

There’s the usual themes come to be expected on a virtual car island (showroom, social area, test track) but with a few extras. Here’s an extract from the supporting website…..

Lancia has created an Island in the shape of Italy, testifying to the brands commitment to spreading the made in Italy ethos. The island has 5 main buildings, 5 areas where you can experience our mood.

To the North East there is the Reception, the ideal spot to start with to discover the island. To the North West, there is the Multi-Theatre, the islands nerve centre, containing the Drive In and the Conference Room. In the Drive In area special content videos are waiting for you ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú you will be able to see them using QuickTime Player- with international artists such as U2, Zucchero, Peter Gabriel, Queen and Beyonc?ɬ© playing the main roles. They were realized for 46664, the worldwide campaign against HIV created by Nelson Mandela, and they will be broadcasted on three big screens.

Continue reading →

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