Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Say hello to the MMOBE

I was sitting at my breakfast table, having a sip of my mocca-capa- shaka-kahn-chino when I ran into this story in the NYTimes: "Not in the Real World Anymore". MTV is going to introduce a virtual world mirroring their virtually watchable Laguna Beach fictional/reality show. The online world is going to be aptly and innovatively named Virtual Laguna Beach.
But let's be clear here, this is no Sims. In fact, if you hop on over to the site, there is absolutely no reference to this product as a "game". Psshaw, games are so like, for geeks. No this is bigger than that, this is like an "experience". The good folks at MTV are allowing all you boring looking, socially inept and financially challenged "fans" to live the good life. For the low low price of $5.99 a month, you could buy yourself into the "in crowd". In VLB, you'll lose weight, be fit and be ridiculously rich. Join now!

We need a name for this type of thing and I'm going to call it a MMOBE, massively-multiplayer online brand experience. (rhymes with Flowbee, hehe) It has all the visual tastiness of an MMORPG without any fattening raison d'etre like goals or a sense of purpose. Drive around the town and chat with your friends. Go shopping and chat with your friends. Visit the beach and chat with your friends. Hey, don't miss chatting with your friends at the ice cream shop. I know what you're thinking and you'd be wrong. It's not a glorified chat room. It's an god damn experience! ::cough second life cough::

Quite honestly, I'm surprised it took MTV so long to get into the game (err, not that I'm trying to call this thing a game, it's so not a game already k?) I don't know about you but I'm desperately waiting for the virtual My Super Sweet 16. I want a diamond-encrusted DJ bitch!!

(Also on iMedia)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd just like you to know that VLB (based on There.com) is more than a chat room. I hardly chat and there's plenty to do "in game." I do hoverboard tricks to gain levels, I play with dogs to gain levels, I ride buggies to gain levels, I change clothes to gain levels and I play Paintball to gain levels. Each level gained gives you virtual money so you can then buy things in game. It's a pretty simple concept but it's kept me busy for months.