Monday, August 21, 2006

don't get it

I don't get Second Life. It intrigues me, but primarily in a "what is the allure?" sort of way. It's also something that I know I should know more about, as I read more and more about how it is being used by marketers -- including social marketers.

There's an article in the Post this morning about how the music industry has discovered Second Life and is using it as a way to appeal to the generation of fans that has turned their back on going to concerts and buying CD's. To address this, for example, concerts are being held in Second Life -- both by established acts and by bands trying to break out.

At one point in the article, one of the appeals of Second Life is described, "Unlike the real world, avatars can fly around or beam themselves instantly from beach to urban environment."

Sure, I'm stating the strikingly obvious here, but unlike Second Life, in the real world, you're actually AT the beach or in an urban environment, even if you had to drive or take six buses and three subways to get there. I want sand in my toes -- not in the toes of my avatar.

The last show I went to was at the end of July -- Social Distortion. It was the first time I had ever seen the band play and I was impressed enough by the experience to write about it. The pleasure of the show came from the other people in the crowd, the fact that I was being introduced to the band by a friend who was a big fan and was obviously giddy about being there, the cliche-riddled performance, and hearing the music -- live and loud and inevitably imperfect. When it was over, we had to walk the five blocks back to the car -- no flying or beaming for us -- but it was a chance to talk about what we had just experienced.


I just can't imagine the same kind of experience in Second Life.

Can someone out there help me to understand . . . ?

*Just noted that Steve Rubel posted about Second Life a few days ago over on Micropersuasion, suggesting that the hype around Second Life might be overblown -- not in terms of its potential, but in terms of its current reality.

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