NBA taps into Second Life

“The NBA has launched an elaborate series of interactive milieus in the popular online virtual world Second Life, including a 3D NBA store, a mock NBA arena and even a press center where Web users can roam and play using video-game-like avatars.

Second Life, which claims close to six million registered users worldwide and is visited by more than a million or so every two months, has increasingly become a testing ground for marketers and media companies. The new NBA Headquarters in Second Life is the first such exploration of the virtual world phenomenon by the league.” [Story at MediaWeek.com]

This is what I’ve come to think of as a “For the Record” post.

One thought on “NBA taps into Second Life

  1. Second life has a lot of potential. At the moment it’s sort of at a WWW-in-1994 state where lots of people (myself included) are sort of farting around and finding out what we can do, and some of the more enterprising corporate entities are tentatively putting their feet on the ground.
    There is a sort of Snow Crash-esque vibe to the system, but what really makes SL interesting to me is the idea that it’s a mutable, scriptable environment where we are able to bring abstract information in from the outside world (in a limited way) and explore it in an intuitive, tangible form. One of my pet projects is to try to build an interface to any Gestalt database that would dynamically construct a building to explore, representative of the data, and continuously constructing itself as you chose different directions to proceed in. In this way, information-seeking becomes a physical artifact that other people can then use to trace out the same pathway of investigation you took.
    This sort of ability, combined with Linden Lab’s commitments to eventually open up their system to allow anybody to run their own SL simulators and write their own SL clients means that even if SL itself does not become some sort of metaverse-analogue, it will certainly advance the concepts and acceptance that virtual reality is not just some pipedream from the mid 90’s and actually might have a useful application or two.
    Of course, at the moment, this also means lots of people are walking around wearing improbably-attractive supermodel avatars and hooking up with other desperate types for fake sex or fake clubbing or fake, uh, whatever. But, this too is part of the original VR concept– remember that Hiro’s nice neighborhood is just around the corner.

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