Those pesky marketers are not only invading the blogosphere trust-web. Now they're showing up in virtual communities. Will the unwashed virtual masses kick them out? Depends on the nature of the intrusion and the benefits for the user.
The real question? "How much reality can virtuality handle?"
Without losing it's grasp on unreality, I mean. If you put too much non-actuality in your life, you end up in big trouble, dead or institutionalized. So how much actuality, real advertisers or real pain delivered via immersive haptic teletactiles, can a virtual world gamer permit? Without....what?
What happens when worlds collide: real and virtual? Annoying, Distracting Advertising vs. Ecstatic, Utopian Fantasy?
Put on your mis-thinking caps and check out this PC Mag article. Deconstruct it, young pioneers.
Yell hello to Johnny Dvorak while you're there. He is a prophet of doom on Zunes music player/sharer/whatever the hell new tech they think we can stomach in the midst of all this Over-Technologicalization hosted grandiosely, delusively, by The Technological Imperative (what can be made, must be made, like it or not--who cares how users might misneed and misapply it?).
I don't do MUDs or any other simulated reality. The blogosphere's bad enough, it removes me far enough away from ugly boring reality, as far as I feel unfrightened to go.
I'd be interested in hearing from virtual community members, those really addicted in a very sick and dangerous way, and getting your perspective on virtual community marketing, the kindly withered hand "reaching out" (with products and hype) to this wonderful illusionoid realm.
Ya want advertising and salesman hounding you in digital la la land?
Dell to Sell PCs on Second Life
By Natali T. Del Conte
Dell held a press conference in the virtual world Second Life on Tuesday, announcing that the company has opened an in-world island with a retail store where customers can actually order PCs to be delivered to their home.
"Second Life allows us to connect with customers in a rich and robust way," said Ro Parra, senior vice president and general manager for Dell's Home and Small Business Group.
[VASPERS: Danger! Warning! Stop! "connect with [i.e., manipulate, exploit, drain, hype to, and leverage lecherously] customers in a rich [i.e., wealth-producing for the company] and robust [i.e., we're passionate about ripping you off with our crap products, consulting, or services]".]
"It will tell us what we're doing right and will tell us what we're going to improve. So we asked ourselves how to extend this relationship with the customer to create a different experience. We want to be where people are gathered and they're gathering on the Web in growing numbers."
[VASPERS: Eat me.]
Visitors to the Dell Island will be able to examine Dell products in an interactive, 3D way. They can rotate, change colors, and look at the inner components of a Dell PC. The Second Life stores are also linked in real-time to the Dell.com e-commerce system.
[VASPERS: These rotters actually think in a fantasy land, two steps further into dreamable dissolutions than even the blogosphere, will just hop right into branded stores to shop for pretend products with pretend money for a pretend home in a pretend usage situation, "Hey, kids look at the branded Dell computer I purchased today."??? Don't make me vomit. Again.]
"For the first in-world resident to order their PC from us, they'll get it for free," Parra said. "We asked ourselves if Second Life customers want to build a virtual PC and want to get it delivered in real life. We think some of them will."
Dell Offers AMD-Based Notebook on Its Web Site
On the island, customers will pay for their virtual Dell machines in Linden, the official Second Life currency.
Customers who want to order a physical machine to be ordered to their home will pay in US dollars. The Dell Island also has a virtual replica of the Dell factory and a computer museum featuring a model of founder Michael Dell's college bathroom where he used to hide parts for the computers he was building from his parents.
Dell is not the first one to sell computer products in Second Life but it is certainly the first major manufacturer to have such a large commercial presence there. The island will be fully staffed with people in red jackets who visitors can ask questions to and have conversations with. Dell also plans to use their in-world conference rooms for retail focus groups.
Dell's Second Life presence was built by a company called Infinite Vision Media in Massachusetts.
Parra could not disclose the price that Dell paid for the Second Life real estate. "I don't have specifics on the amount but we're looking at this as an investment that we're making in Second Life," Parra said. "While we're excited about this step, we believe it is a small step. We think this is just an exciting medium for us and we're eager to tap into its power."
[VASPERS: Danger! Warning! "We...we...we...we blah blah blah." Self-centered means greedy and crass. "small step": they don't know what they're doing, but they smell money, so here they come whoever you are, it's your demographics that's the target, not your psychodynamics. "eager to tap into its power": its power to make them cream money out of its milk pails.]