Saturday, 9 June 2007

Spaceship Suruga

I seem to be on something of a Far Eastern riff this weekend. Here's the latest in this medley of Oriental delights.

I reported a while back on Suruga Bank's then new island in Second Life (as well as name-checking Korea's Acid Crebiz), and have checked back from time to time to see if it was open. Last night, while rambling in the general vicinity I thought I'd give it a pop - and this time I was able to gain access. If you look on a Satellite Map view, the site looks completely black - and there seems to be a good reason for this. The entire site seems to be contained within a huge expanse of blackness. There is no terrain as such, rather a number of coloured discs and something akin to a space station, floating in space against a backdrop of stars. The effect, to my jaded eyes, was refreshingly new and exciting.

A teleport system will take you each of the 3 disks. On two of these you can watch videos, including (what looks like) an introduction to Visa cards and their benefits. I would like to know a bit more about this, since I am off to Tokyo at the end of the month, and have read that credit cards are not widely used for payment. The video goes some way to supporting this assertion, since it does seem to be "Credit Cards 101" - fun though! It made me chuckle a couple of times.

The main theme of the build is "d-labo" (dream laboratory) which links with this website. As far as I can tell, this ties in with the opening of Suruga Bank's new branch (if that is not too small a word) in the prestigious Tokyo Midtown tower. It looks like "d-labo" is either the project name, or the name of the company designing and managing the build in RL. Certainly the Second Life "d-labo" shows many of the features to be found in Real Life. The builders in Second Life seem to be the busy Japanese virtual worlders, Meltingdots (who offer their own portal into SL here). But enough of the blather - to get the idea of the place it is best to view the pictures:

The guy in the video is spouting the virtues of Visa cards.

I think the main aim of this sim is to promote Suruga Bank's opening in Tokyo Midtown. You may argue - largely successfully - that Second Life is not an ideal promotional channel. But be that as it may, I really like this build. It shows a lot of humour and imagination, while also looking to address the client's brief of co-ordinating the SL channel with other promotional channels. If some can explain to me the subtleties of the d-labo website, then I would be grateful!

1 comment:

VeeJay Burns said...

What surprises me is the quality of these Eastern builds.

Would it be a safe assumption to say that Asia is bringing a lot of (design) experience from other virtual worlds into Second Life?