Monday, 16 March 2009

Engage! Expo, and Second Light

Engage! Expo
The Engage! Expo, (previously known as the Virtual World Conference) finished last week (10-11th March). It was a sombre event this year, being much reduced in size from last year, with fewer attendees, presentations and exhibitors (not even Linden Labs showed up this year).

It was a commonly accepted truth that Virtual Worlds had reached saturation, with over 300 currently all vying for an ever shrinking pot of advertising and corporate backing gold.

The main theme running through this year's show was the lack of capital to fund Virtual Worlds, and for the money that was available - the maximisation of revenue streams, in the shortest period of time. The main group being targeted at this year's event were the teens and tweenies.

There were two companies showing monetization solutions, PlaySpan and Super Rewards, and payments via the mobile phone were seen as a key to success, as most teens do not have a credit card.

Sony announced that their user base had jumped from 4 million last month, to 5 million this month. They were one of the few exhibitors to announce substantial user growth.

Blue Mars impressed the hell out of everybody and had the biggest crowd around their booth of all the booths. They still did not have any downloads or a beta world set up as yet. A golden opportunity wasted.

Second Light
Like many others, I have been marvelling at the amazing piece of film entitled 'This is what Second Life should be like' on Bettina Tizzy's npirl website.

The film is quite moving, but also quite fanciful, or so I thought, until I saw this piece of film on the BBC website, showing 'Second Light', the working name for Surface 2.

It is staggering to think that what we see in This is what Second Life should be like can be a mere two years away.