TECH: Avatars, and the Metaverse

I have been struggling with the new attention on online virtual worlds like Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc, etc. I think that there’s something here that’s more than games. But I can’t quite tell what yet. And if it’s just games, well I don’t want to get sucked into this, as I waste enough time on the Internet already.

Here’s an article by a tech veteran suggesting that this is The Next Big Thing. The question is, what moves to virtual worlds? If it’s just games, then it’s self limiting as only some people have that much time on their hands and they’re not the ones with the money. There are obviously options for moving community online to virtual worlds, but community per se doesn’t have that much economic value. However in some aspects of health care, like patient groups, there is real value from community.

The web though is most important for moving commerce and information online. It’s not clear to me how you put that into a virtual world, other than advertising to those who are playing games or otherwise spending time there which is the TV/newspaper model. Any ideas?

(Note: Slight edits made to clarify)

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gadflyNatalie Hodge MD Recent comment authors
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I wrote an article on Second Life as civic-organization building tool back in July – it was posted in a pretty prominent place, likely to be read by PR people, so I’m wondering if I’m partially guilty for the wave of Second Life hype. What I think happened is that “online community expert” and “social media optimization” gelled as job descriptions. Then there was a mad rush by all the would-be “thought leaders” to do whatever looked cutting edge. Plus, Second Life is a new concept to most people in the professional world and has a slight learning curve –… Read more »

Natalie Hodge MD

We all recognise the power of web based information for customers. E health providers ae crying because doctors won’t adapt their technology. Let me tell you who wears the pants in doctor decision making. It is the insurers with which doctors hold contracts. Doctors even call their customers something different “patients.” Consider the Personal Pediatrics Administrative Support system which provides doctors a much greater incentive to adopt technology, a low overhead system built from the ground up with the Customer REALLY in mind. take a look at http://www.personalpediatrics.com and watch our story as it unfolds! Natalie Hodge MD