by Mike Masnick

A Virtual Virtual eBay

from the does-not-compute dept

Okay. I'll be the first to admit that I really don't understand the appeal of "There" - the online virtual world that has gotten some hype. I've pointed out before that it seems very similar to previous attempts (and failures) to build 3D online worlds, where people just get together to do nothing. People can already do that for free in various chat rooms. The big innovation in There's world is that people need to buy and sell the clothes their avatar wears. I'm not sure this is really a huge innovation, but they claim people are spending money to do so. In fact, they say the most popular area of the game is the in-world auction house, where people can use a eBay-style site (I'd say a "virtual eBay", but eBay is already virtual, isn't it?) to buy and sell their virtual clothes. If people are willing to do, that's great for them, but I have trouble believing that such an economy can sustain itself, as it's entirely based on marketing to build perceived value. The items, themselves, have no intrinsic value - and the point at which enough people realize that, the market will collapse. Interestingly, the folks at There admit that most of the people using their version of eBay aren't actually conducting auctions - but are using a "buy it now" feature. Considering eBay just got dinged for $30 million for using just such a "buy it now" feature, I wonder if There is opening themselves up to a lawsuit. One other random aside: finding my old post (or any info, actually) on There is made incredibly difficult by the problems of trying to do searches on the word "There". Doesn't seem particularly conducive to search engine marketing.

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  • identicon
    TDavid, 8 Aug 2003 @ 7:46pm

    There needs power

    There shares the problem of other games in that it requires a fairly powerful machine complete with graphics card. Diehard gamers or people who work online will likely have the equipment but most of the rest will need to upgrade.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Leuchtenburg, 9 Aug 2003 @ 1:55pm

    There and Searching

    While it might be hard to find There with the sort of simple search used by most weblogs, Google is able to find it quite easily. The first link, in fact! It still doesn't help to find your previous post on There, though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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