Reuben Steiger ,Millions of Us – The Avatar Age
Where are we, and how did we get here?
The avatar age is a way of categorising this industry as more than virtual worlds. VW sounds isolated and niche. It doesn’t do justice to everything that’s going on.
The most primal and basic sort of human togetherness is sitting round the campfire. Surprisingly it is one of the most popular events in virtual worlds as well.
What is an avatar?
In Hindu lore it was the earthly form of a god. Now it’s an online persona. It’s an inversion. In history it was from ethereal to prosaic, now it’s vice versa.
Houston, we have a problem!
Only 25% of US residents trust conventional advertising. Over 70% trust recommendations from their friends.
User generated social communities represent the fastest growing market segment, totaling 31% of all consumer internet usage. This is not a niche thing. This is where the market is trending.
Second Life has been on top of the virtual world market when it comes to press attention, yet it represents only a small minority of those millions of virtual residents.
- Over the next year social networks will become avatarized
- Virtual Worlds will become more like social networks
- Television tie-ins will increase for virtual worlds.
Virtual worlds will evolve from a Habitat (1985) to a Second Life (now)
Where did it all begin?
Philo T. Farnsworth (1928) invented the television, just across the street from 1100 Sansome street (Linden Lab HQ).
What happened to communities? Before the automobile and television we lived in small villages, architecturally build on the community principle. Over the past decades we’ve lost that sense of community. The basic civic getting together has gone. Virtual Worlds are so important because they offer the opportunity to reestablish this togetherness.
How will this stuff manifest in the potential future? (again Scion City example)
SAND – episode on Scion City, a narrative where residents are invited to solve the mystery.