Virtual World: an e-Business Goldmine? Exploring Real e-Business Opportunities in Virtual Worlds A Case Study: Second Life

Cantalejo, Beatriz (2007) Virtual World: an e-Business Goldmine? Exploring Real e-Business Opportunities in Virtual Worlds A Case Study: Second Life. Diploma thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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The purpose of this dissertation is to identify the factual business value of the evolving virtual world communities. The computer-based simulated environment has overcome the game stage and has become a phenomenon. The current virtual commerce activity is broad, from the purchase of virtual property to the creation of presence in the virtual worlds through marketing campaigns sponsored by real corporations. The exploratory case study of the unprecedented Second Life (SL) examines the economic aspects of the virtual world through multiple primary sources of evidence, particularly direct observation, documentation and interviews.

This dissertation unveils the current and potential business opportunities and marketing practice in virtual world communities and investigates their growth critical aspects as well as the business model presented by this type of environment. Findings show that the virtual economy derived from the virtual reality of Second Life includes similar prospects than the physical world along with those generated by the fiction environment. The virtual world represents yet another presence on the web - a 3D-page that facilitates unlimited interaction possibilities - and consequently, any business could benefit from linking a presence in the virtual world with their physical presence in the real world. However, the results of this research indicate that while Second Life empowers its users to explore and discover a virtual world, it lacks to provide a narrative to bond visitors or residents. The virtual world is still at an enfant stage and further efforts in building communities and developing activities to recurrently engage the users would be fundamental to the evolution of this business model.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Electronic Commerce
Divisions: School of Computing > Higher Diploma in Business and Technology
Depositing User: Aisling Gorby
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 13:26
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2014 10:14

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