August 24, 2006

A Virtual Photo Shoot


I recently wrote about how the parallels between the virtual world and real world are often colliding on this project, to an extent that it becomes a bit strange and bizarre to experience.

Last night was another one of those experiences.

Earlier in the week, we received a call from a terrific magazine who are currently putting together a story about the aloft project. While discussing what photographs would be available to run with the story, the decision was made that we would do a photo shoot for the magazine that would bring together all of the people involved in the project. Except rather than take the photograph at the real Starwood offices in White Plains, we decided to do it inside of Second Life at the virtual hotel.

So at around 10pm last night all of the avatars representing the various teams from Starwood, ElectricArtists, and Electric Sheep congregated in front of the hotel for the photo shoot. Like in the real world, the sun was setting as we talked about the shot and thus we had to move quickly to get everyone in place before we lost our light. Also like in the real world, we even had people there to help with clothes and hair. For the photo, the photographer had us all look in the same direction at a red box in the sky. The whole experience was extremely bizarre and after a few minutes you forgot that you were on the computer and instead began to feel as if you were actually there watching a beautiful sun set as the photographer gave directions on where to stand and where to look.

-- Marc Schiller, ElectricArtists

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August 16, 2006

Podcasting on aloft and Second Life


BusinessWeek Online posted a 12-minute podcast I did with their correspondant Reena Jana. We discussed the challenges of bringing real world structures into a virtual world, both conceptually and technically; the benefits of Second Life for creating an iterative conversation with customers on issues like design; the appropriateness of certain products versus brands within virtual worlds; the hype versus promise of the Second Life platform; and the power of relationship building within virtual worlds.

I hope you find it interesting.

- Giff Constable

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