I’m doing my thing the other day, reading my RSS feeds to catch up on the news, and I read this article about War Games and MySpace. I think to myself, that’s an odd phrase… hmmm… and I decide the title alone makes the post worth reading. Turns out there’s this group of smart kids at Harvard, MIT, and London Business School who annually participate in this conceptual business challenge. They select a topic and each group involved takes on a different business to calculate which business moves the company is likely to make and which company is likely to become the most profitable.
Late last night, I decided to visit SecondLife.com and see what the buzz is all about. I quickly learned that participation with the site requires a software download and the option to insert your credit card or PayPal information for a bonus number of mythical online currency. I declined to offer my credit card info and proceeded to enlist as a free member.
A few minutes later, I was in an online video game. I was a person walking around in a world filled with other online users. It’s crazy! Of course, it was late and my wireless speed slowed down the character movement, so I quickly lost interest for the night and turned off my computer.
From what I gather, you first select the basic appearance of your character. You then walk around these informational areas, learning functionalities before actually entering the world of Second Life. I still don’t know what to expect from the game, and I doubt I’ll be spending much time on it, but I see definite potential for people in their teens and 20s especially, finding this the perfect escape from boredom or routine responsibilities.
There are currently only a few million members on Second Life, so MySpace doesn’t have to worry about the competition just yet. However, I think Second Life may have figured out an alternative way to retain users online for long periods of time. I’ve yet to see proof of the actual potential to make money with this site, but it’s at least interesting enough to warrant a casual visit (though download time and such aren’t exactly conducive to someone interested in only snooping around for a few minutes).
If you’ve tried Second Life or have heard a lot about it, feel free to fill in the gaps.