Saturday, 3 March 2007

Fancy a Movie?

I reckon I must be losing my touch. Whilst I've been off hunting down new islands, a couple of islands that I've been keeping an eye on for a while finally opened - and I missed both launch bashes. Still, better late than never I suppose.

First off, I pottered along to the new SL presence for This is part of the archipelago that clusters around millionsofus, so I'd take a wild punt and say this is another MoU build.

Well, my wild punt was wrong - thanks moo - this appears to be the work of Pichi Keen, and was located near MoU "coincidentally" (though part of the structure is owned by General Dharma, whose group listing includes Inside Millionsofus - a contact list for people interested in staying touch with MoU activities). Even though it has only recently opened, I was surprised to see the place deserted. Maybe everyone had already been, booked their tickets and fled off to the movies in Real Life. Basically, that's what's on offer here. Movietickets provides an online cinema booking service (USA only?). The intention with this island is to offer movie trailers, combined with the option to click thru to their website and buy tickets, if you want to get off your backside and go to the cinema (or "movie theater" as I believe our former colonial cousins would call it).

"But what of the site?" I hear you say (I must get these voices in my head sorted out one day). It's modelled as a glitzy cineplex, with a red carpet taking you up a flight of steps to the main entrance. Inside, there are 10 viewing rooms, each showing a different trailer. Outside each room is a movie poster that links you through to the website. For a site that has been under construction for months, and built by one of the Big Names, I was frankly disappointed. It's OK... but not very exciting or innovative. The building is lacklustre by today's build standards, having little to grab or hold the attention (aside from the movie trailers, of course). For the hardened free-loader the pickings are slim: popcorn (yawn!); 3D glasses and a T-shirt I think; quite frankly, I'd lost interest by then.

I asssume the plan is solely to provide another channel through which to sell tickets - and that's fair enough. However, I do wonder why someone would go to all the trouble of doing so from SL, when there's a perfectly good website they can use. "Ah.. but in SL you get the social interaction that is missing from a website", you may say. "You can chat with other people viewing the trailer and get a more rounded view whether this is the movie for you." For that to work, the site has to be sufficiently engaging to attract people.

It is early days, and perhaps this is planned, but I would suggest that the site needs more than just a trailer+clickthru combo if it is to attract a sufficient number of people. What about special screenings? Machinima competitions? Guest groups for niche (or genre) movies, with facilities for members to gather and talk about their movie obsessions? In the absence of actually paying people to camp here, movietickets needs to invest some thought in the social aspects of SL, in order to exploit it to their best advantage. Blimey, more free consulting! I really must stop doing this.

And here's a couple of pictures for you:

I will cover the other newly-launched island in a separate entry. But for now, I will mention another new island - not yet open - Ajax Arena. (Thanks for the tip, Nic) Here's a satellite view:

Ajax is one of the most famous football (that's "soccer" to my American readers) clubs in Europe, based in Amsterdam. It is not clear yet whether this new island is an official club site (probably) or the work of a group of devoted/demented fans. Time will tell. I note the RL arena is used for a wide range of events, so my guess is that the SL version will also play host to all manner of activities.If you know more, then please let me know.

Finally - while I am on a Dutch theme - I also spotted a new island for "Dutch Virtual Events." Again, if you know more, then do tell.


Anonymous said...

You know what happens when you assume...

This was absolutely not a MoU build. When islands were revealed on the map, names included, I noticed iFriends and Movietickets. They fit in with similar naming schemes to MoU so I asked Reuben about the projects, to which he replied that he had no clue about them. It's no coincidence, though. People either placed the islands near him to try to get more attention, or a Linden hates him. Either way, he ended up moving a majority of his islands away from there.

~moo Money

Aleister Kronos said...

Thanks for the correction. Changes have been duly made.

Apologies to MoU - I did think your standards must have slipped a bit.