Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of virtual world and MMO fashion
Hamlet may be a bit smitten with Facebook-driven virtual world Cloud Party, but so far it hasn't done much to get my attention. Although I am curious to see what many SL designers will be doing on this new platform, the truth is that right now Cloud Party is just not very fashionista-friendly.
So why does that matter? In my experience, virtual fashionistas are big spenders in online economies, and the demographic overlap with avid Facebook gamers (in particular women age 30-50) means that Cloud Party could be a great platform to develop a big market of big spenders... If it can keep them interested. Cloud Party as it is right now lacks key fashionista-friendly features, making an avatar-focused online life way more difficult and way less fun than it is in competing virtual worlds (including Second Life).
Here's three features Cloud Party needs, to succeed with virtual fashionistas:
Continue reading "3 Things Cloud Party Needs to Attract Virtual Fashionistas" »
Second Life has returned to the latest Top 10 PC Game* chart compiled by Nielsen, based on data the venerable ratings service gathers from application activity in 180,000+ US homes. The latest ratings are from March 2012, when SL reached slot number 9 with a .634 share. While this chart only measures client-based PC games, it's interesting that 5 of the top 10 (Warcraft, LOTRO, D&DO, Aion, and SL) are online worlds.
Notably, this jump up the charts also includes an increase of average minutes played:
Continue reading "Second Life Back on Nielsen's Latest Top 10 PC Game Ratings" »
Cloud Party has gained 2000 users from June 19 to the 25th, according to AppData, the Facebook traffic tracking service, which is shortly after Robert "Dizzy Banjo" Thomas alerted me to a stream of Linden Lab staff past and present (including Cory Ondrejka, funder/adviser) crowding into Cloud Party, and I blogged about it. These 2,000 users include anyone using Facebook Connect to log in through the game's main website, which AppData also counts. That's a pretty decent spike of new users, but the real challenge is whether that growth will continue, beyond one time tries and early adopters. It's still quite small compared to the monthly usage of Second Life (about a million) or IMVU (about three million) Facebook, or for that matter, a popular Facebook game:
Continue reading "Cloud Party Gains 2000 Users in Under a Week" »
This Second Life screenshot above was on the front page of Reddit last night, submitted by "audiwark", who explains, "My lady wanted me to try Second Life with her, she told me I could be anything and do what ever I want." So now several hundred thousand if not millions of Redditors are defining "anything" to include hot threeway sex with an A-10 Warthog Gunship. (Baby, my GAU-8 Avenger cannon is rotating so fast right now.) And this isn't even the first instance of airship fetish sex to go viral this year: Back in March, Penny Arcade Went There with a couple dirigibles.
Somehow, all this seems a step up from the previous SL sex meme from a couple years ago:
Continue reading "Why's Airship Fetish Sex the "Ralph Pls Go" SL Meme of '12?" »
We spent a lot of last week talking about Cloud Party, the new Facebook-driven 3D virtual world that Second Life co-founder Cory Ondrejka is backing as a funder and an adviser, but as it turns out, Cory himself has probably been pre-occupied with more pressing matters: He was recently appointed CTO in charge of Facebook's incredibly important mobile division, taking that role from Bret Taylor, who stepped down. Pretty impressive to go from the CTO of a virtual world developer with a million users at peak to leading the mobile division of a service with a billion users, in the space of five years. (Cory was fired from Linden Lab in 2007, over a dispute in managerial philosophy with fellow SL founder Philip Rosedale.)
What's this mean for Cloud Party? Right now, I'd say probably not much:
Continue reading "SL Co-Founder Cory Ondrejka Now Facebook's Mobile CTO" »
Here's the Second Life destination guide page to SL9B, the user-run celebration of Second Life's 9th anniversary this weekend. (Which technically is actually its 9th year as a commercial operation, because its first user joined in March 2002, which I'd say is a way better month to mark SL's birthday, but anyway.) I'm already hoping to visit the SL9B tribute to Tim Burton, but only after I see Tim Burton's Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. If you have SL9B sites and events to recommend, please post in Comments!
Continue reading "See SL9B's Destination Guide for this Weekend's Celebration" »
Cloud Party's online entry point is now only here, company CEO Sam Thompson, who I interviewed yesterday, just told me. "Everything should be the same for current users except the old Facebook app links will not work," he says. "For now, we will still require Facebook accounts for authentication, but users will get a full-screen experience and it will be easier to find and share your URL. Facebook features such as photo-sharing and friends lists will still function as before."
Pretty damn cool. It's Facebook-friendly features like these which inspire Botgirl Questi to say "Linden Lab should by Cloud Party". Which is also a pretty cool idea. Because frankly, buying Cloud Party is among the few things that will secure Second Life's future into the next generation. But even then, I think it's unlikely to happen. Here's two reasons why:
Continue reading "Yes, Linden Lab Should Buy Cloud Party (But Likely Won't)" »