Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MTV's Virtual Worlds

So MTV is building virtual worlds now. I guess Virtual Laguna Beach is based on There's technology but in somekind of private grid. I also guess that the other two offerings will be like that - not sure why you would build walled girds like that but, anyway here are some quotes.


“You can not only watch TV, but now you can actually live it,” Van Toffler, the president of the MTV Networks Music, Film and Logo Group, said in an interview.

One of the appeals of virtual worlds for MTV is the possibility that advertising can spill over into the real one. Visitors might buy a digital outfit for parties using currency they earned watching an infomercial or checking out a new product for an MTV advertiser. Then, they might decide that they would like to buy the same outfit for their offline selves, and, with a few clicks of the mouse and some real dollars, have one shipped to their home. In trial form, Virtual Laguna Beach has advertising relationships with brands including Cingular, Pepsi-Cola, Secret and another Viacom company, Paramount.

To design Virtual Laguna Beach and the other forthcoming 3-D online communities, MTV enlisted Makena Technologies, the creator of There.com. Henry Jenkins, a professor at MIT and the author of “Convergence Culture,” said such virtual communities were a natural next step for mainstream media companies seeking to deepen their connections to fans.

“It’s just layer upon layer of reality and fiction,” Mr. Jenkins said."


"MTV will introduce Virtual Laguna Beach, an online avatar/role-playing service in which fans of the program can immerse themselves in virtual versions of the show’s familiar seaside hangouts.
This is the first effort. Two other virtual worlds are planned: VMTV is a music destination where visitors can club-hop among hip neighborhoods, buy music, watch videos, sing karaoke or even start their own bands. The third virtual destination, LogoWorld, an offshoot of Logo, the gay and lesbian cable channel, will be designed entirely by its participants.

The only thing: A startup Doppleganger has already launched something very similar to what VMTV sounds like….and has tie ups with AOL’s AIM and Interscope Records. And no mention of that in this NYT story."


"Could this be the beginning of the migration we’ve been pointing to here at 3pointD for some time? That is, the migration from flat online community spaces like MySpace and into their 3D counterparts like Second Life and There.com (which provided the underlying technology for VLB). We of course are betting it is, but it could also mark a shift in how such places get funded and built, from start-up companies that need to seek venture capital to stay afloat, to big media companies getting into the space. The 3pointD age is upon us."

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