Thursday, December 11, 2008

Real Life Cities (12): Rio de Janeiro

Recently I added a blog to my bloglist which I can't read. It's "O Guia do Mochileiro da Second Life", which brings us tales from Second Life from Brasil. This particular blog brings me back to the series on virtual representations of Real Life Cities in Second Life.

I first noticed some Brasilian presence in Second Life in about april 2007 when I first blogged the Fiat Brasil presence. Later on we saw Citroën Brasil enter as well. Meanwhile we had seen a huge boost in Brasilian users in Second Life and had seen a lot of fuzz about the Kaizen Games rip-off. Brasilians seemed to love Second Life, but didn't really speak English so Kaizen Games and Brasil Telecoms prepped up a Portugese Language Pack for Second Life and a registration portal, Second Life Brasil (so far so good) and became Linden Lab's first licenced Global Partner, but were rumoured to take off a large percentage on the transactions. I haven't seen any Brasilian companies enter Second Life over the past years aside from these two automotives, but because my Portugese isn't very good (or almost non existent), I may have overlooked. However, the Brasilian community has grown steadily becoming a force to be reckoned with in Second Life, although they keep to themselves a bit (again, language barrier), but it's time to head to Rio, home of one of the best known landmarks in the world:

Rio de Janeiro ("River of January", is the second largest city of Brazil, behind São Paulo, and the third largest city in the continent, behind São Paulo and Buenos Aires. The city is capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro. It was the capital of Brazil for almost two centuries, from 1763 to 1822 while it was a Portuguese colony and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It was the capital of the Portuguese Empire from 1808 to 1821. Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa, or "The Marvelous City".

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its natural settings, its Carnival celebrations, samba and other music, and hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema, paved with decorated black and cream swirl pattern mosaics known locally as "pedra portuguesa". Some of the most famous local landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain, which has recently been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a giant permanent parade stand used during Carnival; the famous Brazilian copperfish and Maracanã stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.[wikipedia]

There are multiple Rio de Janeiro sims, amongst which a triple sim build called Brasil Rio, but the one that has most resemblance to its real life counterpart is RJ City and obviously, the Cristo Redentor is very prominent in this build as well. As for recreating a virtual replica, this build is not as accurate as say Augsburg or Munich, but rather a loose collection of the local sights set in an athmosphere that breathes the spirit of Rio.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fiat inverts reality

A little while ago I blogged Fiat Brasil in Second Life. Today I saw two commercials of the Fiat Punto. I liked the sense of humour they'd put into their Second Life presence. These two commercials also have a nice sense of humour.

The first video is what I'd call inverted reality.

Is this second video something you dream of? If only you could really meet the virtual girl of your dreams...

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Lancia gives SL the Boot

Lancia gives SL the boot... were they ever in? No they just entered Second Life, with their island bootshaped like their hometurf Italy. Last week I thought I had finished blogging every car company in Second Life when I did my post on Vauxhall but saturday the Italian Fiat subsidiary opened up their island to the public. Island is a little deceiving here as their virtual showroom is quite a setup spreading 4 sims.

Lancia explains their virtual presence on the supporting website:

Lancia has created an Island in the shape of Italy, testifying to the brand’s commitment to spreading the made in Italy ethos.

The island has 5 main buildings, 5 areas where you can experience our mood. To the North East there is the Reception, the ideal spot to start with to discover the island. To the North West, there is the Multi-Theatre, the island’s nerve centre, containing the Drive In and the Conference Room. In the Drive In area special content videos are waiting for you – you will be able to see them using QuickTime Player- with international artists such as U2, Zucchero, Peter Gabriel, Queen and Beyoncé playing the main roles. They were realized for 46664, the worldwide campaign against HIV created by Nelson Mandela, and they will be broadcasted on three big screens.

Meanwhile, in the centre, there is the Showroom, the heart of the island, the place where you can discover virtual versions of Lancia’s models, but where you can also get the very latest news and information about the brand. One above
all: interesting anticipations about the long awaited launch of new Lancia Delta. Heading West, there is the Glass Bubble. Inspired by the famous glass bubble on the roof of the Lingotto factory in Turin, this is the island’s disco,
where you can dance long into the night to the rhythm of the trendiest music around.

Lastly, if you go South, you will come to the Lancia Café, where you can relax with a drink or skip over the waves in a water-scooter.

Discover the Lancia Village, a new way of seeing the world of Lancia, from a new, rather unusual point of view.

As far as automotive immersions go, it isn't too different from what their peers have done. It's the usual press center and test track, but it has something extra with the videos and water scooter stuff. As far as design goes, it is Italian design which in this case means: It is a good build. I was actually impressed by a number of things. One of the things that really caught my attention was the colorboards next to the cars in the Showroom.. Alas, they didn't function as I had hoped. The boards display in which color the car is available. It would have been nice if they had been scripted to change the color of the car in the showroom accordingly when touched.


All car companies present in Second Life can be found through the automotive label on MindBlizzard.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Fiat Brasil

Since the final quarter of 2006 we've seen about a dozen automotive companies enter Second Life. As was with the internet, the automotive industry has been quick to pick up on new technology, finding ways to promote their vehicles.

Early april 2007 I spotted a triple sim setup called Fiat Brasil, Fiat Adventure 1 and Fiat Adventure 2 which accidentaly had left its restrictions off so I could blog the first pics. It has been closed ever since. When I spoke to one of the reps of the Brasilian MDC vj arquitetura at the opening of the Paramount/V3 group Transformer sim in June she said it was bound to open in a week or two. Those two weeks have grown into two quarters it seems, not that I've been trying on a regular basis, but still, today was the first day I found it open for public.

Somethings get better with age, I guess. The build itself looks very neat. Here are some snapshots:

The main venue of this build is the Fiat factory in which you'll see (a representation of) te production process and assembly line. Notice the Picasso painting the new Punto...

At the end of the line the new Punto is ready for a testdrive. What I liked best about the sim the architecture and the small pits of humor put into the design. We've seen the production process before in Second Life (e.g. Ben & Jerry's) and we've seen racing tracks (e.g. Nissan) but one of the things that make this sim work for me is that Fiat let go conventional architecture in the decorum.


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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dues ex Machinima

Babyburns off breastfeeding, meaning I gotta stay up late and have a go with bottle and smelly powder milk. Usually it's around 11 pm and I sit down an watch some tv. Earlier this week I watched an episodes of a Discovery Channel show called "Rides" This one I especially liked since it featured a very special classic car, a Duesenberg.

The Deusenbergs were two carbuilding brothers who build luxury automobiles and racecars in the early 20th century. There are several models of which only a few survive, driving prices up to millions of dollars for well maintained versions.

The "Rides" episode featured Jay Leno, who is a classic car maniac, working on his Duesenberg. More on Jay's cars can be found at Jay Leno's garage.

Don't tell Mrs. V. but I've been looking to get myself a classic car for some time now. In Second Life I haven't gotten beyond Aimee's T-Ford (1 L$-freebie version), but I've been looking around in Real Life as well. I was thinking about buying this 1928 Citroen AC4

But then it appeared that my wife's car would last much longer. In fact, it wasn't safe enough to drive anymore with two kids. So last week we bought a new car:

Well, at least the color is about the same. However, it means no money for a nice AC4, let alone a Deus.

Anyway, as I said, I haven't gotten more than a virtual T-Ford sofar, but it would be fun to see such rare cars as the Deusenberg back in Second Life, being able to drive them. Have classic car ralleys and so on.

Anyone know a Duesy in Second Life or any good classic car? Lemme know

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Friday, April 13, 2007

FIAT scoop

While searching SL's grid I stubled upon 3 sims, Fiat Brasil, Fiat Adventure 1 and Fiat Adventure 2. The first wasn't accesible, but the adventure sims were open, so I dropped in hoping to see what FIAT was doing in SL.

There wasn't much to see, just plain wooden boards and colored beams. Yet there were a few people working on the island. The construction team is called "vj arquitetura" and they were quite shocked I dropped in... somehow the restriction had disappeared.

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