Sunday, 13 May 2007

Aarhof Shopping Mall - where RL and SL meet

I've been suffering with withdrawal symptoms - and I keep getting drawn back to Dutch sites, no matter what I do. Here's another that I actually stumbled on a few weeks ago - but couldn't resist the temptation to blog it this time round. It's a shopping mall - nothing special about that, and that's why I didn't bother blogging it first time. However, I thought I'd take another look - mainly because I can't access the Sky News sim, and I was at something of a loose end.

This is Aarhof Shopping Mall - and what makes it a little more interesting that yer average mall is that it is the Second Life equivalent of the Real Life Aarhof Shopping Mall. I will let you digest the content of the notice below:

So - aside from being an extrusion into the Virtual World of a real, bricks'n'mortar building - you can also buy stuff in Second Life that will be delivered to you in Real Life. OK... this, too, is not new - but it's certainly not commonplace in SL. Also, the mechanism is not exactly cutting edge, as it is basically a matter of linking you to the relevant website. I was also surprised at how few outlets actually offered website links. Also, the mall is not targeted particularly at SLers, in that there are no SL-only shops in here (for skins, SL clothing and the like). On the plus side, there's plenty of freebies for all those so inclined - clothing, pets, lamps and other stuff.

As you can see, the build looks quite realistic - a lot of effort has been expended making the shops look like their counterparts in RL, with inordinate quantities of transparent photo textures. I quite like it - even though I am struggling to see how the site will be used. OK, there are some links to websites, but large swathes of the mall seem to be there simply to look like RL. It seems like a waste to me - but maybe they have a cunning plan. If you know, then do tell.

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