Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hype of Second Life Far Outweighs Its Ability to Impact Mainstream Interactivity

The hype surrounding Second Life doesn’t match its actual marketplace impact, according a Yankee Group's note.
Average use per Unique Resident fell 66% in the past year to 3.8 hours per month. The decline in average use is compounded by the fact that less than one percent of the total Resident population engages in the site in a regular and sustained fashion, underscoring the challenge of using virtual worlds to reach a broad mainstream audience. There are numbers of factors contributing to this niche appeal, but the note concludes that Second Life’s PC-centric approach in an increasingly mobile world is to blame.
"For virtual worlds and metaverses to achieve greater potential in the marketplace and grow beyond early adopters, the experience must be untethered to meet the needs of the Anywhere Consumer™. Companies that provide remote access—through mobile devices or other means—to their web experience will have a greater impact than pc-centric companies."said Christopher Collins, senior analyst in Yankee Group’s Consumer Research group.
The people of Yankee Group are the global connectivity experts™—the leading source of insight and counsel for builders, operators and users of connectivity solutions. For nearly 40 years, Yankee Group has conducted primary research that charts the pace of technology change and its effect on networks, consumers and enterprises.

The future will tell, if this view on virtual worlds will be the correct one. It certainly may help some gaming, but to my opinion, it is not the mobile devices who will save Second Life from decreased popularity. The virtual world, in general, will have more benefit in developing a new approach of living and experiencing the virtual world, with 3D images, for example, with headsets, where you actually are acting in the virtual world, as already seen in different films.
The problem is that the RL sees Second Life as a game, which it is not, it is a second life.
Look for example at this video of Italian developers who converted SL into virtual reality cave and read the blog of David Orban about this revolutionary creation.


csven said...

You *do* realize this report was pulled due to the embarrassingly incorrect numbers the Yankee Group reported, yes?

Looker Lumet said...

It is not about the correct or incorrect numbers, it is about their conclusion by saying that the virtual worlds should look to other means as mobile devices.

Tymmerie said...

There is no way I could use or would ever want to use a mobile device to play SL. You are right, Looker - it isn't "game" in the sense that they *think* they understand it. It is not something I do on the fly.

csven said...

My point is that the original report was found to be in error and the "mobile" conclusions they put forward considered immediately suspect, since it appeared to a large number of people that The Yankee Group was perhaps looking for validation of a predetermined conclusion. Whether that conclusion has merit in either the original or the potentially flawed revised report is, as you say, something for the future and whatever new interfaces are or are not commercially developed and accepted by consumers.

Looker Lumet said...

Thank you Csven for having us informed, which I obviously did not know.
Thank you Tymmerie for sharing your thought with us.