V.R. – Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is a three-dimensional game-like environment you participate in similar to a video game were you are represented by a cartoon-like figure (an Avatar), and all the other Avatars (players) are real people just like you.
You can move around, meet and talk to people, see the virtual world that others have created, build relationships and make friends, and build your brand and sell products.
Second Life which began on June 23, 2003 was the biggest and most successful Virtual World online with a membership that exceeded 18 million users at its peak in 2014. At that point SL’s members included 253 of the Fortune 500 companies.
Companies like Sony, BMG Music Entertainment, Sun Microsystems, Nissan, Adidas, Reebok, Toyota, Starwood Hotels, Nike, Amazon, I.B.M.,CNN, and Dell Computers were all represented in this virtual world.
Nissan gave SL users an opportunity for their avatars to test drive the new Nissan Z350 (above).
You could walk into the virtual Dell Computer store 24 / 7, sit down with a Dell avatar (employee), discuss the type of laptop you wanted and in RL (Real Life), it would show up at your doorstep the next morning.
Even the television show “CSI: New York” had a two episodes where they had to solve the crime in Second Life. Above is Gary Sinise interacting with a SL Avatar.
One of my favorite stories which I wrote about in my best selling book “The Social Media Bible”, was about Anshe Chung, The First Virtual Millionaire!
In November of 2006, Chung announced that she had “become the first online personality to achieve a net worth exceeding one million US dollars from profits entirely earned inside the virtual world, Second Life.”
Anshe rented her first Sim, or Simulator which allowed her to build her own virtual world on 256m x 256m (65,536 sqm) area. She developed apartments, residential homes, offices, and retail space. She then rented those spaces to SL members for their own use. Between her rental income and sales of this virtual property, she generated in excess of $1 million U.S. becoming the first Real millionaire in a Virtual World!
Of all the social platforms ever created for the Internet, Second Life is still my favorite.
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