Money to be had with Virtual Worlds

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Many of the questions that I had posted earlier this week don’t pertain to a topic that I am now more interested in now, so this may seem “off a little bit.

In the past, I’ve never really given games like Second Life much thought. They were for the “nerdy antisocial people” (and let them do what they want to do). However, after reading and discussing the topic more I believe that a great deal of attention should be paid to this group. Coming from a Capitalist perspective, “there is money to be had.” No matter the wrap these users are given, they are extremely involved and willing to pay to play these games.

One of the first topics having to do with money in these games is advertising space within them. Several giant corporations have attempted to penetrate into games like Second Life. Some of them have succeeded, where as others have failed. For those who have failed, maybe this group of users just doesn’t fall for the regular monotonous marketing our society has become accustomed to? I think it would be extremely interesting to study this topic further.

A second thought pertaining to money is the sheer amount of money being generated by both the users and the companies creating these games. I had no idea about the magnitude of either. First, the concept that people playing Second Life can make a million dollars, DEFINITELY made me rethink the whole “nerdy antisocial” thing. I can’t judge anybody who is being smart, using the game to their advantage, and making money. This also makes my highly consider joining (if only I had the time).

The amount of money that these businesses make is also astronomical. Having the ability to charge users in so many ways just makes basically like a never-ending stream of money. For example, each year Blizzard makes over $800 million. This is interesting for me, because I’d love to work for a business making that kind of money! I honestly never would have thought about businesses like this in the past, but I’m learning there are so many markets that I just don’t know enough about.

Alternate reality game users shouldn’t be ignored because of their “social standing.” Marketers (and people attempting to be marketers) should be aware of this group. More research needs to be done into what kind of marketing these users like and also what works. There is a lot of money to be had both for the users of games like Second Life, but also for the creators. Once more people realize this, I’m interested to see how much more this industry grows!

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