One of the prime elements of any game, application, website, or, well, any other product in the world is the question of who it is for. No matter what you are producing, you have to carefully consider the audience for which it is intended. Normally, most developers look to encompass as wide an audience as possible, but there are others that look for more specific groups.
Recently, Digital Playspace, launched Digital Dollhouse and marked its entrance into a social kid’s space. Unlike other titles of similar nature (Stardoll, for example), Digital Dollhouse focuses more on the world rather than more traditional, doll dress up.
Within the dollhouse, players are able to decorate to their heart’s content using various items that they purchase using what is called “Dollhouse Dollars.” The currency is easy enough to acquire through activities on the site itself, but users also have the option of purchasing select amounts either via subscription or direct from PayPal.
What is interesting (and seemingly counterintuitive), however, is that the application is not so much being labeled as a “virtual world,” as it is an online “playspace.” Supposedly, this is in an effort to differentiate Digital Dollhouse from the growing number of developers within the virtual worlds space.
In light of this “differentiation,” and the fact that the game is designed specifically for young girls, Dollhouse is much lighter on interaction than its counterparts. The site is devoid of chat systems and the common advertisers one would normally see, but that doesn’t mean there are no social features.
The game still contains a friend list and lets users share each other’s creations and trade items back and forth. Furthermore, there is a nice little feature dubbed the “Dollhouse Cam” that can actively show works in progress to anyone curious to see it. Not only this, but the game actually has some minor educational value in the sense that the design elements (i.e. furniture) are not made up but come from legitimate artistic periods in human history.
According to CEO and founder, Jesyca Durchin, “Digital Dollhouse was created as ‘wish fulfilment for girls…. I wanted girls of all ages to have a realistic interactive environment that they could design and control, rather than a cartoon-like technological world that was controlled for them.” Suffice, to say, this goal was met quite well, and hey, it’s a lot cheaper than a real dollhouse. Isn’t it?
[via Virtual Worlds News]