$11 Million Makes the Whole Thing Seem More Real

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This writer owes some of his worldly successes to the tremendously talented writer, Kevin Guilfoile, author of the amazing book, Cast of Shadows (we won’t go into why — we’ll just say he’s a friend and we’re very grateful for him). If you’re at all familiar with the book, you’ll remember that a section of it takes places in a fictional online universe called Shadow World. And if you do know that, you were probably as shocked as we were when you heard about this very real online game thingie, Second Life, which, for all intents and purposes, is just the lo-fi grandparent of Kevin’s online world. It’s this strange blend of reality with online gaming, where communication and building a life seems more important than taking on some kind of giant dragon or casting spells. How does that relate to design? Well, the future brews in mysterious ways, and already we’re seeing reality seeping into this online world, such as with the R&B coffee shop in DC and, ahem, in Second Life, and now it looks like, last week, industry heavies like Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar thing the phenomenon is big enough to dump some serious money into. So will you soon be designing ads for virtual worlds, or, heck, even products for avatars to buy? We’ll break out our Nintendo Power Gloves, sit tight, and wait to see.