I’ve been thinking a bit about virtual worlds recently, especially since the hype surrounding Second Life seems to have died down. Virtual worlds, in my mind, do have their uses – education is probably the one that stands out in my mind. I personally don’t have much use for it at the moment – Second Life calls itself a social network, but there are so many social networks in the real world right now that the idea of entering into a virtual world just to socialize doesn’t quite get me going.
Planet Cazmo, a music-themed virtual world for tweens, made me think of the whole concept again though. It brings virtual concerts to the bedrooms of young people who are not allowed to go to real-world gigs yet, and according to Trend Central, record executive Tony Mottola is amongst the latest to enter into a partnership with Planet Cazmo, along with existing partners like Sony and Universal, to expand their Virtual Concert series. If live gigs are the way forward for bands, then virtual gigs may be an additional source of income, not to mention they allow young fans to interact with them earlier than they would otherwise, but in a completely safe way.
I think this has interesting implications socially as well. If I had access to Planet Cazmo when I was a tween, I would have loved the opportunity to get together with friends in my room and listen to virtual concerts, in preparation for my teenage years. As it stands, I didn’t, and I had to wait years before I was allowed outside to listen to live music. I’m sure Planet Cazmo won’t be every parent’s cup of tea, but for those who love their music – and I see them every day, even at work – I’m sure this is an interesting model.
Here’s a clip that advertises Parachute’s virtual gig this weekend on Planet Cazmo: