Ever wonder what an ‘out-of-body’ experience would be like? Imagine that your very being, your actual physical state was no longer of primary concern in your life. Imagine that you lived two lives. Visualize that everything you are, is your mind and commuting is only a thought away… Hard to comprehend but it is all very real. The evolution of business practices is reaching a completely new-fangled platform. A concept, which a lot of the world still may not understand is alive and thriving on the streets of the virtual world. Virtual reality, an ironic merging of two words; virtual being everything that is unreal and intangible and reality contextualizing everything that is real and actually happening around us. This medium in cyber space is now serving as a new world, where you can live, make friends, do business, buy advertising space and even make money off buying and selling of property. But, not just any business, food, advertising space or property, this discussion is all based on virtual intangible components that are actually tangible in real life. The word to be emphasized is VIRTUAL. If you do not feel that your present life is fulfilling, internet Einstein’s have put into action a surreal concept, Second life, a second VIRTUAL LIFE.
If you haven’t already heard of this concept, it will probably take you some time to digest. This isn’t just an internet game, it is a life. You determine what you look like, pay for everything you want, job hunt for your virtual job, use the virtual currency called Linden which can be exchanged for US $ online, make friends who are actually other virtual residents in the neighborhood, buy virtual clothes, have a virtual dog, shop for a virtual car… and the list goes on.
The Business Aspect
You will be surprised, to know that residents of Second Life will soon be taxed on the profits they make in the online virtual currency, Linden. With over 5 million users, currently registered and living their virtual life, several organizations are considering this as being an innovative channel/ medium for conducting business.
Companies can now invest in virtual media plans inside the virtual world. You can pay for billboard or mupi space to place advertisements on the streets of your Second Life territory.
Coldwell Banker has officially declared, it has a Second Life!
As stated by David Kirkpatrick on the Fortune news official website by Charlie Young, the company’s senior vice president for marketing, “Coldwell, which employs over 120,000 real-world sales agents in the United States and operates in a total of 45 countries….we’re trying to figure out how to reach what we call the ‘new consumer.’” Coldwell Banker executives in the US insist that any profits will be reinvested in Second Life real estate.
“We didn’t want to make a play in Second Life just as a pure advertiser,” Young explains. Like a few other savvy companies (One example is iVillage, which conducts tours of fun spots of Second Life),
Coldwell Banker tried to figure out how to participate in the Second Life community, and “provide real value,” in Young’s words.
“A small number of land barons mostly control real estate in Second Life,” he says, “and we thought we could bring real estate to the masses.”
It’s true that Second Life real estate transactions are daunting and confusing. Paul Carr, whose book “The Unofficial Tourists’ Guide to Second Life” was published on the 19th of April by St. Martin’s Griffin Press, predicts that with Second Life populated almost entirely by casual and newly-arrived users, a trusted brand that stands behind virtual land transactions will be welcomed by many as believed by Kirkpatrick.
This is not an opinionated article, it is purely informative as people can view this concept as an excellent and harmless futuristic business avenue or simply think of it as a destructive path that promotes or catalyzes split personality disorders.