Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reuter's on SL

I also looked at articles that reflected on the virtual marketplace.  To be honest, this kind of shocked me.  It represents another example of the blurring of lines between VR and RL.  Even the SL Reuter's home page was striking because with one click the user is sent to the real life reuters.  The two are almost indistinguishable.  Companies like Loreal are starting to advertise on Second Life, and shows like Big Brother are coming as well.  To me, this just reveals how money-hungry these corporations are, and I'm not sure why but the crossover from RL to VR scares me.  I guess it bothers me so much because it creates greater confusion about the reality of virtual worlds, redefining them as extensions of real life as opposed to games.  But, there were some stories that made me rethink this negative view.  One article called, "Charity raises funds with homeless avatar" really struck me.  A Spanish charity created an avatar of a homeless child begging on the street.  The charity was able to make a considerable amount of Linden dollars, which translated into about 30 bucks.  While this isn't a lot of money, it was enough for the charity org. to support the healthcare and education costs for on needy child.  This example showed me the positive effects of advertisement in virtual worlds.    

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