A Real Newspaper For A Virtual World

July 29, 2006 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Metaverse Messenger adSecond Life, the 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its 350k+ residents, is constantly throwing up all kinds of bizarre and unique marketing opportunities. These were recently analyzed by Harvard Business Review’s Paul Hemp in his excellent article: Avatar-Based Marketing: What Is the Future for Real-Life Companies Marketing to Second Life Avatars?

But I only just discovered that Second Life has its own newspaper, The Metaverse Messenger, which calls itself ‘A Real Newspaper For A Virtual World’, complete with advertising (see image). It’s a bizarre read for an outsider – a community that has reached the point that it can justify its own gazette, complete with ads and ad rates:

SECOND LIFE BUSINESS (Linden$) A half page would be 11″ x 5 columns = 55 column inches, x L$50 = L$2750. An ad that is 4″ x 3 columns would be 12 column inches, x L$50 = L$600.

REAL LIFE BUSINESS (US$)  A half page would be 11″ x 5 columns = 55 column inches, x US$7 = US$385.00. An ad that is 4″ x 3 columns would be 12 column inches, x US$7 = US$84.00.

In a strange way, this newspaper reminded me of HBO’s ‘Deadwood’ series. A new frontier…the smell of goldrush…the need for a newspaper to make sense of all the change.

I also found this list of Second Life opportunities and activities, at the Metaverse Messenger website:

  • Visit shopping malls, nightclubs, sports arenas, casinos—virtually every space that exists in the real world
  • Travel on foot, or by planes, trains, and flying saucers; fuel-injected muscle cars, or simply fly like Superman
  • Alter your character’s appearance to look like anything – a superhero, a mythical monster, or your own mirror image
  • Change your reality with simple but sophisticated 3D creation tools: build houses, design furniture; create clothing
  • Buy and Sell Virtual Goods and Services
  • Advertise and sell your business to a city-sized population of consumers
  • Exchange the Linden Dollars you earn for real dollars, and vice versa
  • Party endlessly at nightclubs, fashion shows, art openings, fancy dress balls
  • Fall in love, get married at a virtual service—and officially designate your Second Life partner
  • Jump into multiplayer and solo play in dozens of in-world games made by gamers, for gamers
  • Acquire the ground beneath your feet; keep the rights to everything you create in-world
  • Develop the land you own, for personal use, business, or projects of all kinds
  • Retain Intellectual Property rights over your in-world creations. Your works are yours to do with as you please
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Entry filed under: media general.

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