Thursday, April 12, 2007

Virtual Banking (2): ING and Our Virtual Holland

At the Media Plaza Second Life seminar Gertjan Kaaij, Business Innovator of the ING held a presentation about ING in Second Life.... well, not exactly. The Dutch baking and insurance company ING they started cruising the virtual worlds in late 2006, but did not see a ROI on short term.

So there wasn't a big ING hit to launch, then what else to do? For the time being, ING uses SL mainly as a branding medium. They've hired Rivers Run Red to build a region of sims called "Our Virtual Holland"

The plan is for Our Virtual Holland to evolve into a virtual mini-state, and to this end they have been offering free parcels of land to would-be residents. Don't all rush to the website though - the offer closed on 21st March. Rather than churn out all the details here, I would refer you to this page of their website, which tells you everything you need to know (if not, try their FAQ). As is usual with SL that magic word for 2007, "Innovation", looms large. I will be interested to see what emerges. Certainly the pittoresque windmills will add to that innovative spirit...

At the moment ING is working with partners like the Rijksmuseum to add some spirit to the sims.

Pictures kindly provided by Sir Aleister Kronos

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Virtual Classes

Shortly after the Second Life seminar at Media Plaza, earlier this month, I visited the virtual campus of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The sim was build in just a couple of weeks by a team of 4 students. The main structure is quite similar to the Real Life campus, but the college room hovering at an altidtude of 10 m. certainly is not.

The classroom is used for actuall classes. One of the courses given in SL is Law, which is a real happening. Groups of students observe (odd and frequent indecent) behaviour in SL and describe the legal implications of the observed actions.

Other Dutch Colleges and Universities:
[most still in development mode]

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Second Life Seminar

Wednesday April 4th the Dutch Media Conference Center, Media Plaza, organised a seminar on Second Life, talking about doing your homework!

Indeed, wednesday, worldwide Second Life patch day!


  • Presentatie door Dr. Frans Feldberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Presentatie Bart Bockhoudt, oprichter Dutch Exchange
  • Live streaming video in Second Life door Ivo Krupinski, DMAEen aantal locaties waar (live)streaming video in Second Life plaatsvindt passeren de revue. De DMA-Studio, muziekevenementen, zakelijke bijeenkomsten en een locatie waar onderwijs centraal staat.
  • Presentatie door Damien Simons, [Lost in the] Magic Forest
  • Presentatie door Gertjan Kaaij, Business innovation manager ING
Sogeti was well represented at this event with about 7 employees, leaving the poor lonesome junior of Cap Gemini wondring if he should have looked for a different employer.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Into the Arena

AJAX Amsterdam - one of the most famous names in the sport - opened up an island in Second Life yesterday. The build work, which is to a high standard, has been carried out by Nemesis Content Creation, the team behind innovative inworld game ideas such as Numbakulla, a Myst-like game deployed in SL. Reading about the site in other blogs, it seems that the Dutch telco KPN may be is a co-sponsor.I guess it should come as no surprise to find the site is dominated by a football stadium (the arena), that is an uncannily good simulation for their RL stadium. I know there is a War of Virtual Aesthetics in parts of SL, between those who believe it is good and healthy to import RL buildings into SL, and those for whom it is a complete abomination. Personally, I hate the zealotry coming from the more extreme factions in this "war". In my view, if you have an iconic building in RL, then flaunt it in SL - provided you do it justice. I think the Nemesis team have done a great job in transforming the RL stadium in to SL. Certainly the grass seems to be in better shape than the RL

Special thanks to Aleister Kronos

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