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The Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds

Wow, that sounds official. And you know what, it actually is! The Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds is an American initiative from the Information Resource Management (IRM) College of the National Defense University. There role is to ‘ prepare leaders to direct the information component of national power by leveraging information and information technology for strategic advantage’.

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Furthermore, it’s a great example of virtual worlds being used in a non-consumer fashion (albeit a little Second Life centric). The media tends to focus pretty much exclusively on KT&T VWs when covering the sector and what a lot of people don’t realise is just how much hard work is going on in B2B and governmental sectors. Roll the (slickly produced) video.

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via Mal Burns

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Sports sector intel

Sports virtual worlds (examples of ‘Vertical Worlds‘) are a niche I believe will become increasingly popular. Why? Two main reasons – relevance and gaming. Here’s the latest intel in this sector.

This week we’ve seen another soccer-based VW announced to join Football Superstars. Interzone Futebol will be a ‘soccer-focused virtual world with matches and athletic gameplay as well as social spaces.’ Sounds pretty similar to FS in terms of basic proposition. However, Interzone Entertainment, the company behind the project are targeting the Brazilian marketplace as their primary focus…..

Continue reading →

Explaining Vertical worlds

What are the factors that are going to drive usage and adoption of virtual worlds?

Ease of use?

Advertising?

Multiple entry points?

To small degrees, the points above will assist with growth but not be the primary factor.

People need a reason to enter a virtual world – an objective, something relevant to them. This ‘sense of purpose’ is what will drive wider adoption of virtual worlds and bridge the gap between the innovators and early adopters currently inhabiting older virtual worlds to the early majority.

When you think about it, worlds like Second Life are generalist. People have nothing really in common with each other when they first join. This is why you find over time that residents gravitate towards people with similar interests, be it geographical, genre or interest group. Whilst this is great if you want to actually target early adopters (and many companies do) worlds that offer a dedicated themed or category driven experience are likely to encourage this wider take-up. Continue reading →

MTV goes for a song

Engagement and relevance – two very important terms in the world of virtual marketing.

Virtual MTV is leveraging both aspects with their latest initiative – the Virtual Music Video Contest. Registered avatars are invited to create and edit a music video (from a pre-selected list of five songs) and then upload it to Metacafe (integration is another important term).

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Just as marketers have to realise that their customers of tomorrow are using virtual worlds in great numbers already, companies have to realise that their employees of tomorrow may already be demonstrating their skills in these worlds – in this case, budding video directors (machinima artists).
Here’s a link to the MTV site.

Learn more about music in virtual worlds.

Exclusive first look at latest Football Superstars screen-shots

Andy Law at Cybersports has kindly given me the latest screen-shots of Football Superstars. These are pre-alpha and published officially for the first time.
Enjoy.

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K Zero interview with Steve Marshall, Creative Director at Cypersports

K Zero interview with Steve Marshall, Creative Director at Cypersports. The company behind Football Superstars, Cypersports kindly put Steve Marshall, their Creative Director up front to answer some questions about the forthcoming Metamogg launch.

K Zero: Given the popularity of football on gaming consoles, it’s surprising a virtual world on this theme hasn’t been created before. How did the idea come about?

SM: I was equally surprised to discover it hadn’t been done before, or being at least at a significant development stage. Virtual worlds are a natural progression from lobby based systems to join players together, there are MMO’s covering most of the major gaming genres from Real Time Strategy to First Person Shooter, but until Football Superstars was announced nobody had made the connection between sports and persistent virtual worlds. Continue reading →

Football Superstars. The first Metammog

Football Superstars. The first Metammog. In recent posts I’ve talked about how virtual worlds will evolve in the future. Well, the future is closer than we think.

As more people, corporations and organisations move into virtual worlds, the way these spaces will evolve will focus more and more around the individuals engaging with them (sound familiar?). On this basis, we will see metaverses being created to serve specific communities of people with specific vertical interests. This differs from worlds such as Second Life that have no defined purpose (by design) and are constructed to cater to the requirements and interests spanning multiple interests. Currently, Second Life works very well and is demonstrating how we can benefit from metaverses.

However, what will drive mass adoption, and by this I mean comfortably 100m+ users in a short space of time are applications serving a specific purpose and providing environments in niche categories.

Today, we have metaverses and we have MMOG’s. Both are popular. Both have different audience demographics and attributes.

Let me introduce Football Superstars. Football Superstars is a forthcoming virtual world being created specifically for football fans (that’s soccer).

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Here’s how it’s going to work…

Continue reading →