Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Virtual worlds, who could benefit?

  Many new users joining Inworldz have previous experience of virtual worlds, but it is equally true that many do not. In fact the IW Founders are actively seeking to attract new residents who haven't considered trying out the metaverse before.

Fishing in Sims 4
  Where are these potential new customers to be found, and what are they doing right now? Could they be gamers currently operating in an online community who would like to hang out with their friends in a new environment? Those playing simulation games like the sims franchise, who already enjoy creative activity and would enjoy a larger environment to work with?  Or simply friends socialising on Facebook who would like to expand their ways of interacting online?

  Maybe architecture, or film students would welcome the opportunity to try our their blossoming skills in an environment where financial risks are low, and demolishing an experimental building is only a click away.
 Could they be recent retirees, missing the social environment of their workplace, or 9 to 5ers working to earn a living, but secretly yearning for an alternate career, possibly as an entertainer or retailer?
 Are there role players out there whose needs and environment aren't being provided by the big game companies, or artists who struggle to find an audience in their own community?

Fishing on Picnic Island, Inworldz
 What about inlanders who miss the sea, and long to have a boat? Or a stay at home parent who would love a space of their own, and conversations with folks their own age.

 There are millions of  city dwellers, dealing with noise and a crowded environments. Would a beach hut on a peaceful sandy shore provide a mental break from the endless bustle and stimulation of overwhelming urban life?
 Conversely, many live in more isolated rural environments, where the challenge can be to find others who share your interests.

  The possibilities for play and experimentation are just as wide, from the fun but trivial..."I wonder what I'd look like blonde?"... to the fundamental and life changing, such as meeting a life partner, or re-thinking a career path.
Gulls flying at Mimi's Choice, Inworldz

 In a changing world, the health benefits of virtual reality are already proven. Imaginative interactions are the building blocks of adaptive behaviour, and are as appropriate for adults as children.
 We already know this, but how do we share that good news with those who haven't experienced it yet? How do we explain the difference that interacting in a 3d adaptable environment makes, compared to chatting in a forum, or within a combat game? Is it even possible to predict what any particular individual will need, or find satisfying in virtual living.

 What would be a valid answer to the question of why Inworldz is different to Minecraft sandbox?  An interesting challenge.