Friday, 14 January 2011
Does IMVU show that Virtual Realty has a future?
Nightsky Beach in IMVU was created by a 16 year old. IMVU's spatial content is all the same kinds of stuff you would find in Second Life. The essential nature of a Virtual Reality was probably created by Second Life, but the demands that SL puts on connections and graphics made it usable only by a small population. Also the exclusion of teens was a double edged sword. The more mature community would be wiped out by a flood of teens, but teens are some of the most creative elements with some of the most time to work.
Second Life was always more of a concept than a working company and its failure to grow beyond a core base of users should probably not be taken as proof that virtual reality will not be embraced by a western audience.
IMVU made a number of wise decisions that enabled it to reach a larger audience
IMVU wisely went after that teen market and offered a tool that required far less computer to run.
IMVU didn't just leave it to the users to build everything, seeing itself more like a company, but ran an aggressive marketing campaign on the Internet and even in real world stores.
IMVU used the "Digital Generation" to its side, target ting a group with a lot of time on its hand, a large interest in social activity, with a tool they could use on the computers they had. Second Life set barriers to younger users that made the site more interesting for an older community. SL found the older users didn't establish the kind of loyalty that younger viewers develop.
Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life