Friday, 23 May 2008


I had an odd time, scouring sims tonight. I alighted on a number that looked vaguely promising, but proved to be in development or were otherwise of limited fascination. The one I finally settled on is, at least, complete:

The weltbild sim belongs to German online media retailer, While there are many such companies, the one factoid that seems unique to weltbild is, according to wikipedia, "it is owned by the dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church of Germany." Further, it claims to be Germany's largest media and mail-order company, with a market share of 10%. However, it is far from sentimental. Its aggressive pricing is causing consternation among small publishers and booksellers, who are finding it hard to compete with this behemoth. Nor does it let its Catholic ownership overly influence its product selection, being happy to sell 'The DaVinci Code' as well as books on sex, drugs and - as seems evident - rock'n'roll.

The sim is pleasant enough and does the job, though it may not cause hearts to flutter, or stirrings in the trouser department. Built by Bokowsky + Laymann, the sim probably does exactly what was asked of it. The main feature is a large, crystalline building, partially encircling a small plaza. The building is divided into 3 main sections, devoted to film (DVD), music and books, respectively - the main planks of the company's business. You can watch movie trailers, listen to music, or read book extracts. A selection of popular titles are shown - with links to the relevant page of the website if you'd like to purchase. Aside from that the sim has an auditorium, an ornamental pond (for no clear reason - but it's quite nice) and some beach-type stuff. Oh... and there's a giant game of Tetris.

It's not unique or compelling as a sim - but as I said above, it delivers what it was asked to deliver. While I am somewhat skeptical about the prospects for atomic companies promoting their wares in Second Life, I do, for example, recognise the value of the Long Tail and see that virtual worlds may be a good way to leverage it. As for the style of this sim, it may not be arty or clever, but I can see this straightforward approach selling product in web3D. [ Gawd, sounds like I've spent too long watching Sir Alan Sugar on The Apprentice. ]

Oh... I would point out that I rather like the main building. It is unusual, well-constructed and eye-catching - to my eye at least. Here's a few snaps to ponder:

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