Thursday, 15 May 2008

3 Italia

Telecoms companies are well represented in Second Life. Perhaps this is inevitable, since they all like to portray their brand as associated with a combination of fun, technology and innovation - something that it is reinforced by having a presence in Second Life. One I'd not noticed before, though I daresay it's been here for ages, is the Italian division of mobile internet company, 3.

3 (or more properly: Hutchison 3G, at least in the UK) is a global brand, owned by Hutchison Whampoa, and describes itself as "the mobile media company". The name 3G comes from third generation wireless services, a high-speed cellular phone network that supports streamed video and other forms "rich content" internet media. As of December 2007, 3 Italia was the large supplier of 3G internet services in Italy, with around 8 million registered customers. It also operates HSDPA wireless broadband and Digital Mobile TV services. Hutchison Whampoa is based in Hong Kong, and has interests in a wide range of industries. I'm not clear whether they have, or simply plan to divest themselves of their holdings in 3 Italia.

As for the sim itself, it is modeled as a semi-tropical island, shaped like a number '3'. While there are numerous links to websites, and hefty promotion of the Nokia N95, I found the place to be rather lacklustre. There is only one building on the island, comprising a number of blue glass plates, loosely "stitched" together. Elsewhere you will find a bar, dance area and pool. Tucked away in the South of the island is a sort of amphitheatre. I have provided a few snaps so you can judge for yourself, but I felt the sim lacked coherence, purpose or, frankly, much of interest. If I had to make a call, I'd suggest that it was actually a "first fit" build - a rapid development to get a toehold, show to the company what is possible - it is easier to impress when there has been no other experience to compare it against - and form the foundation for a more considered build. I hope so, because its current content leaves a fair amount to be desired.

No comments: