Apparently, the Chinese government is trying to build a huge 3D virtual world online
that will function as something of a direct-to-consumer portal for Chinese manufacturers. The idea is that rather than buying "Made in China" goods through retailers, you could just log into this virtual world and order your products directly. In fact, the idea includes putting unique identifiers along with the "made in China" stickers so that people know where to go in this virtual world to order more. This raises a ton of questions, so we'll just start with the easy ones, and let you fill in the rest in the comments:
- How often have we seen big gov't projects online succeed? How often do they fail? Somehow we doubt this is going to get very far.
- To its credit, China has been somewhat successful with its big "censor the internet" project (aka The Great Firewall of China) -- so perhaps they can do it. However, how will they handle censorship in a virtual world mainly designed to deal with foreigners from countries where such censorship isn't appreciated?
- Oh wait, this should have been the first question: A 3D virtual world? Say what? Why? What's wrong with standard web pages?
This seems like the type of project gov't officials would think is cool without having any understanding of how people use the web, how they shop online or how they interact within virtual worlds. Otherwise, sounds like a fantastic idea.