Virtual worlds dying a death?
Virtual worlds are online communities where users can socialise, connect and create in real time using voice and chat, represented onscreen by an avatar. They can be 2d or 3d, but 3d virtual worlds provide a far more immersive experience. An obvious example of a 3d virtual world is Second Life, but there are many others that are increasingly used for business including OpenSim and Unity 3D.
Following the media hype surrounding virtual worlds in 2007, mainstream interest has slowly ebbed away and most remember them as places where big brands wasted millions of pounds, creating meaningless virtual marketing spaces which hardly anybody visited.
Used mainly for communicating with consumers, virtual worlds failed so spectacularly because there weren't enough interactions, barriers to entry were too high and it was difficult to reach specific segments of the target market. But, having been adapted by businesses for everyday use, this virtual technology has come into its own as a powerful tool for communication.