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 “Spreading the Virtual Word” in Legazpi City

I recently got invited by Aquinas University of Legazpi’s AQCurate Department to deliver a presentation on Doing E-Commerce in Games and Virtual Worlds. Their team, headed by Mr. Alvin Perez of AQCurate, flew me from Cebu to Legazpi City on February 4, 2009.

The conference was mostly attended by businesses and educational institutions from around the Bicol region, who were looking into new trends in internet marketing and branding. Most of the other presentations dealt with social networking and tools associated with search engines and social networking. Thus, my presentation was a bit of “the odd man out” in the sense that it showcased virtual worlds and Second Life. For many of the participants, it was their first time to see a virtual world like Second Life, and know about its potentials for e-entrepreneurship, marketing, and distance education.

My presentation was primarily composed of a 15-minute video about Second Life and Avatrian, that was playing in the background as I delivered my speech. I talked about how virtual worlds and Second Life are reshaping our definition of, and the way we use the internet. I also compared and contrasted Second Life with MMORPG’s, and why a deep understanding of their inherent differences is key to understanding how to properly establish business presence in virtual worlds.

After the talk, I logged into Second Life and demonstrated its features to the eager and appreciative audience. My Avatrian co-workers from Cebu, who were also logged into Second Life at that moment, were all there with me inworld, and helped me demonstrate some of Second Life’s unique capabilities such as built-in voicing, for the crowd.

There was a good overall response to the presentation, and I could attribute it primarily due to Second Life’s graphical nature which really drew the attention of the audience. But it also raised some skepticism and even fear among some of those present, because of its potential and power to draw and capture attention. The event was a great opportunity for Avatrian to showcase its knowledge and expertise in content creation inside Second Life.

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