Alternate Reality

Life in the parallel digital universe is really heating up:

Last week, UK concert promoter Radio 1 broadcast their One Big Weekend event live via the Second Life virtual community. Virtual festival-goers received digital radios to carry around in-game, as well as concert tees for their avatars. Fans could also watch acts like Pink, Primal Scream, and the Sugababes via streaming video at the Second Life concert venue.

Second_life_1Also last week, Interscope Records and San Francisco agency Doppelganger launched a virtual lounge where fans can watch Interscope artists like the Pussycat Dolls, Gwen Stefani, and Beck. They can also design their own avatars that can walk, chat, dance and go hot tubbing with friends while listening to the music, which they can purchase through (eventually they'll be able to digitally download).

And now I see that Swedish teen networking site PlayAhead has created the first Second Life-Social Network mash-up for its 800,000 registered users.

Although these applications are still firmly within the B2C domain, participation in virtual online communities is growing rapidly and is not confined to teenagers. Marketers have already begun to infiltrate these parallel worlds with in-game billboards, tv spots and the like. It is interesting to see the applications evolve beyond pure entertainment and into the very real worlds of business and commerce.


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