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Monday, November 08, 2021


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The virtual-world balkanization problem - sub-communities becoming more cloistered, more isolated - is (at least) a quarter-century old (Trekkies et al in very early MOOs); by this point I think it's more a feature than a bug, honestly.

There's absolutely no reason a car company... any company, really... couldn't make ads targeting popular online sub-communities. Sexy slow pan shots of a minivan at night, the Milky Way and perhaps Aurora Borealis visible in the sky behind it. Throughout the pan shots, text and arrows appear on screen, pointing out various desirable features of the van. As the camera pans around to the front of the vehicle, and the manufacturer's logo on the grill conveniently becomes prominently visible, someone that sounds a lot like Barry White says softly "Live long and prosper with the all-new 2022 Subaru Ascent: ready for all your away missions, near and far."

There's a certain nonprofit foundation that has a sim in SL, which they decorate seasonally and hold a big fundraiser event in every quarter, I think. It's not hugely popular, but it's reasonably well-visited even when there are no events going on, in part (I think) because they cram all sorts of fun little things into the corners of their sim. A tiki bar, a campsite, a couple romantic little seaside rendezvous spots for couples, and what they bill as SL's best roller coaster.

I'm not saying Nissan should install a lounge of couches with sexytime animations... or a rollercoaster... but it seems fairly self-evident they'd benefit from giving people non-car-related reasons to visit, and stay. Bowling alley, where you bowl a 150 or more and get a free piece of seasonally-themed branded apparel, the giveaway changing every month? A dance club where the floor is lit entirely by the controllable, color-changing headlights of Nissans suspended from the ceiling, where live DJs play sets every weekend? I'm sure they could come up with something that would get people both talking, and coming back, if they tried.


Given how many people enjoy the adventures of "Drivers of SL", they could take advantage of that group and sponsor it, it may be a win-win scenario. They can offer virtual cars as reward (that's what SL car makers do with DSL), even better partner or hire some of those SL car makers to make them. They may offer tracks connected to the mainland roads for DSL. Also Drivers of SL enjoy camping, not the SL avatar camping to get a couple of L$ per n minutes, I mean actual camping simulation with your virtual car and trailers and tents. Nice to socialize and to make new friends.
And there they could have contests of any kind. I don't mean the typical dressing contests that you see in SL dance clubs, let's thing out of that box: tell around the world that we, Nissan, give you a virtual car in Second Life, that you can drive, but you can texture it and the best ones will receive prizes from Nissan or maybe the best one would be painted for real on a real car? There are so many possibilities.

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