Virtual worlds and business opportunities in there
Abbreviations and concepts
3D - Three-dimensional. In this study it refers to three-dimensional virtual environments.
3ds Max – software that provides powerful, integrated 3D modelling, animation, rendering, and compositing that enable artists and designers to more quickly ramp up for production
Avatar - Representation of a user in a virtual world.
CTO - Chief Technical Officer or more commonly Chief Technology Officer is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupant is focused on scientific and technological issues within an organization. It typically involves overseeing Research and Development (R&D) activities, and formulating long-term visions and strategies at the officer level.
Linden Dollar - The official currency of Second Life.
MUD - Multi-User Dungeons are text based role-playing games dating back to 70’s.
MUSH - is a text-based online social medium to which multiple users are connected at the same time.
MMORPG - Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world.
TELNET - (TErminaL NETwork) is a network protocol used on the Internet or local area networks to provide a bidirectional interactive text-oriented communications facility via a virtual terminal connection. User data is interspersed in-band with TELNET control information in an 8-bit byte oriented data connection over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).
Virtual world - A computer-based simulated environment intended for users to inhabit and interact via avatars.
A virtual world is a category of internet-based society that takes the form of a digital-based simulated environment, through which users are able to communicate with one another and use and create objects. The expression virtual world nowadays has become synonymous with 3D virtual environments, where users make themselves as avatars visible to others graphically. The virtual world is active and ready to use 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Virtual worlds are similar to the real life. The user is able to build buildings, earn money, buy clothes, talk to other users, drive a car and other vehicles, etc. However that is not all, here it is possible to fly, teleport, run as fast as he/she wishes, buy lands and even make own rules. Every virtual world has its own economy. That means each has its own currency, some of them has even exchange opportunity. To sum up, a virtual world is an environment with a lot of different possibilities, to them is business, education, meeting friends.
The world we are living in is becoming more and more virtual
There are nearly 580 million people worldwide registered in virtual worlds today. In today’s integrated world, virtual world offers an interesting new way of interactive communication that is not dependent on location of users. For some people, virtual worlds are already their most important vehicle of social interaction. As the technology and applications develop further, there are unlimited possibilities waiting for their opportunity to get born. In the future, near 5 years, virtual worlds will be much more advanced, if star comparing it to today’s one.
More and more leading organizations are coming to terms with YouTube and Facebook as tools for business. The idea of doing business on the internet is gaining thrust and power. Companies use virtual worlds in different ways such as training their employees, educational programs, studies and marketing with the help of 3D software products. Simmersion mentioned [Simmersion. (2008). Real business, virtual world. Innovation .] that by the 2011 year 80% of Fortune 500 companies will have a virtual world presence.
Simmersion Holdings Pty Limited is a Canberra-based technology company that has invested years of research and development to create a 3D virtual world’s development platform. It is exclusive due to its capability to create virtual world’s impact of the latest video games and gorgeously authentic aesthetics. The platform is stretchable enough to produce almost any kind of 3D virtual environment you have ever dreamed about. Jeff Cotter, the chief technical officer of Simmersion, says [Simmersion. (2008). Real business, virtual world. Innovation .] that there are large numbers of business opportunities for virtual worlds and the main mission were to produce a platform that could fill them but does not make a deal with performance and aesthetics. One of the biggest positive sides of submersion’s software is also that it is easy in use so that the user can build composite virtual world without high specialization.
There are also plenty of 3D virtual worlds; Second Life is the most known, at least to marketers. IMVU, Meet Me, WOW (World of Warcraft) also are one of the most popular nowadays. They all give users an opportunity to make own avatar, search for a friends, talk to others and other attractive and useful things to do while maintaining similarity with real life. Other words you are able to make a personal virtual world and start to earn money and exist there.
In Second Life there are enormous amount of users online every day, honestly speaking there are over millions of users addicted to virtual worlds. Traditional spare time activities such as walking on fresh air, watching television or reading books are losing their popularity. Every week millions of people spend lots of hours in 3D worlds. According to Hemp [Hemp, P. (2006). Harvard Business Review. Avatar-Based marketing ] someday, virtual worlds may become more meaningful form of hobby than TV. First studies showed that teenagers were already using the internet more often that they were watching films or programs on TV [Taking care in the community. (2007). MarketingWeek ].