Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Gruppo Banca Carige

Banks in Second Life seem to be emerging as one of my themes of the month. As two Dutch bank prepare to depart from Second Life, here's an Italian bank on its way in.

While having a look around the growing Italian area of Second Life (which looks quite weird on the map view incidentally) I saw a name I didn't recognise. Most of the sims in this part of the grid are named after Italian cities and/or regions - but Carige was not familiar to me, so I went along for a look. It turns out to belong to Italian bank Gruppo Banca Carige. Based in Genoa, and with over 900 branches throughout Italy, the group employs over 5000, and serves 1.7million customers. I don't know when the Second Life branch was opened. In fact, I will stick my neck out here, and say that this branch is not yet complete and not really open to the public.

OK, actually this seems like a safe bet to me. Although the majority of the building work is complete, there are parts, particularly in the Leisure Area, where there is still a reasonable amount of work to do - for example, dropping the putting green onto the island surface (it currently hovers around a metre above it). There are a few such "floating" objects that need to be tethered.

However, to be fair, the bulk of the island is in good shape. It is dominated by a large, modern office building, resembling a set of billowing sails. It is still a tad spartan inside, but it is evident that work is in progress. Beyond the office building, in one corner of the island, sits an outdoor auditorium. At the moment the seating is simply floating in mid air, a feature I like! However, more sober heads may decide that this minimalist and distinctly NPIRL* approach to auditoria is going too far. I shall look forward to checking this on a subsequent return visit.

The previously mentioned Leisure Area seems to take up around a third of the island, with a (short!) golf course, tennis court, gym and pool. In a nod towards the city of Genoa, there seems to be a recreation of the city's lighthouse. But we've not finished yet - no sirree. There are several more buildings - all largely complete: a recruitment office; an overseas relations office and meeting spaces for both domestic and business clients. Oh... and finally, there's a dance area. Phew! And all of these set around an ornamental lake. It is a neat piece of juggling to fit in all of these features without it looking strained and crowded. Here's the photos from my trip (there's a lot of them, so I've reverted to PictoBrowser):

Will this see a change in the perceptions of SL by RL banks? Nah... can't see it myself. But I hope Banca Carige enjoy their virtual adventure.

1 comment:

Casper ter Kuile said...

Great review! Could you tell me if this is a recent Sim? when did it open?
Thanks, Casper