Well, the publicity is working. It looks more and more like a snowball going down a hill every day. The music acts are moving in with their labels. The clothing manufacturers are setting up shop. And it now appears that GM is going to follow Toyota into Second Life, according to their press release (Link). There are some interesting differences in how they intend to garner attention, and those methods are getting some SL residents upset it seems; especially the real estate people. From the press release:
Pontiac is getting into real estate â€“ but not in the way most would expect. Itâ€™s joining a small group of trendsetting companies buying virtual real estate in Second Life, an online, 3-D world entirely built and owned by the residents that inhabit it. Pontiacâ€™s Second Life presence will launch with a six-region land mass called Motorati Island. But, Pontiacâ€™s arrival will come with a twist: an offer of free â€œlandâ€ for Second Lifers to create a vibrant car culture within the community.
I have to confess I find this amusing. It’s almost as if someone is providing a tool to break Second Life’s real estate DRM and allow anyone access to virtual land (although it’s not anywhere to that point and much less an issue than what many others have to deal with in SL – reLink). However, the significant difference in my mind is that one group created their content and the other merely payed for theirs and leveraged it to buy more (and so on and so forth). So as far as I’m concerned, the creators have more right to complain than the real estate moguls (often the same ones who called the creators unfair profiteers). Which is worse – having your creative efforts (e.g. virtual skins) stolen or coming up against a potentially formible business challenge (free virtual land provided by one of the world’s largest manufacturers)? There’s no debate.
In fact, if I were a land baron, this would be the kind of challenge that would make me happy; I’d welcome it. The fact that they’re not thrilled to face a real world corporate adversary tells me that they’re not in it for the enjoyment; they’re in it for other, more base reasons. And these are the people who laughed at stolen creative efforts. Hypocrites.
For those interested, there’s a small amount of discussion on the SLHomepage website forum – Link.