SLG Exclusive – HiPiHi & Areae Insights!April 13, 2007
by Onder Skall
Since posting the latest iteration of “Alternatives To Second Life” late last night, new details have come to light. To be honest there are dozens of things that can wait until I do the next iteration of the list, but these are too hot to wait:
First, Bruce Chen, Business Development Director at HiPiHi was good enough to get back to me on a few points. Answers are sic so excuse the esl:
- Is your in-world currency open to real-market trading? – Definitely it is. The residents in the HiPiHi World would push the exchange between in-world currency and real money.
- Are residents able to upload textures and other content? Is there a review process like “There” has, or is it immediate and open like “Second Life”? – The residents can upload textures and other content under a manageable mechanism.
- I’ve noticed several resident videos already on your website. Is there a video recording tool in the client? – The videos you mentioned were made by the residents themselves. HiPiHi World client has not a video recording tool yet, and it is really cool a feature which we should consider later.
- Will there be a version open to the West? – The multi-language versions including English, Japanese, are under planning.
Thank you Bruce Chen! I can’t wait to play HiPiHi myself!
Also, Raph Koster of Areae Inc. (thanks Torley!) did the whole “well you don’t really need Onder’s Big Three in virtual worlds” thing, and was brilliant and insightful about it as usual (even if I’m not talking about all virtual worlds Raph, just SL). In so doing he let a few hints slip about what we might find in Areae as far as real-money trading:
#1 is probably the most problematic (do you become a bank, terrorists laundering money, tax implications, illegal business activities, and on and on and on).
FWIW, I think that #1 is a bit of a red herring. The point of a metaverse world, or indeed any sort of world including the real one, is not to make money. Money is an enabler, a convenient tool. I suspect that the current explosion in “metaverse service bureaus” is a sign that RMT is not the key ingredient involved in making big bucks with a virtual world.
So from the sounds of it, we’re not going to see much in the way of integrated RMT in Areae’s plans for the future. It’s still up in the air if this is going to be a “send some folks to jail” policy like WoW’s, or a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy like There’s. Either way, for those of us who love the way Second Life handles the issue, it’s a bit of a shame.