ArchiveApril 23, 2006

Virtual Campaigns

V

Marvin in Second Life

“The creative process is beyond the editing suite,” Baskerville explains. “Most directors/production companies are totally part of the entire supply chain, from the script to the final poster. Good film marketing these days is about creating an extension to the film.”

As the story goes, Marvin, the character for the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie, was developed partly in Second Life. The team tested the android’s movement and all there.

Justin Bovington has been a Second Life Resident for three years. He realized that it was a place for creativity to develop and flourish. In Second Life, he envisioned a place where Rivers Run Red could create unique brands and events that would cross over into real life. This inspired Rivers Run Red to buy the first island in Second Life. On their island, Avalon, they built an emporium where they could create these brands and special events.

Now, I’m not so sure what promotes what here: Does Second Life (SL) promote the Hitchhiker’s Guide? Does the movie promote SL? Do random ad agencies promote random stuff? Maybe SL just promotes itself? There’s some very weird campaigning and meta-campaigning going on there, that’s for sure.

Another note on Second Life: I was quite skeptical as to what’s the use of SL. Like, it’s a bit of a graphical chat after all, where the crassest commercialism has been popping up before any kind of culture had time to develop, with real estate prizes sky-rocketing and all kinds of odd virtual jobs popping up. Bit strange, is all. But seeing Mia Garlick’s Creative Commons talk on SL a few days ago really changed my views on that issue quite a bit. As a tool for gatherings, meetings, exhanges, SL could be very, very useful. Like, it’s relatively simple to use, offers quite some fancy tech support (like in-game video) and all. So despite all its weaknesses (slow, hardware-intense, text-chat instead of voice), it could establish itself as a platform for meetings and online collaboration. At least for the first step of collaboration, for example in international teams, like before the first face-time, SL could be really valuable. Well, we’ll see.