Commerce in Second Life

Blasts from the past: read this very interesting article from legendary John Markoff, written in 1996. Ok, so he was talking about VRML, but look closely about the references he has given for the “future of the Internet” in shopping experience. Second Life users will find this article boring — they’re experiencing shopping in SL quite in the way that John Markoff had predicted.

He writes:

Not everyone is convinced, however that three-dimensional environments will provide quality entertainment. ”The real problem is content, will always be content,” Andries van Dam, a computer science pioneer at Brown University, said. ”What are we going to say to each other which is meaningful? Are we going to be reduced to the same banalities that we exchange at cocktail parties? We can do wonderfully well on the tech side, but the content is still a challenge.”

Even Mr. Stephenson, the science fiction author, said that ”people still underestimate the kind of effort it takes to achieve the level of production value you see on television or the movies.”

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