On a trip to Vegas I decided to buy the missus some lingerie from Victoria Secret to return home with as I hadn’t won the jackpot on the slots at MGM. The pleasant shop assistant tried to help me as we made gestures with our hands about the size and shape of the person whom I was buying for (in case sizes were different in America). The upshot being that we were both pointing at her breasts to try and come to an understanding. Ah, awkwardness.
There’s always awkwardness when I visit a RL lingerie store. You know, she goes to the changing room and I wait patiently, head down wishing for a sign above my head saying “My missus is in the changing room …honest!”. Sometimes another guy will be there, you pass the understanding nod at each other and keep your eyes on the ground, before the female other half appears and gives you the “Don’t be so silly” frown.
What has this got to do with Second Life? Well in Second Life this awkwardness doesn’t exist, which is just as well because this week I’ve been looking at a lot of lingerie.
It started when I decided to take a closer look at the store of my then newest tenant, Carnal Lingerie (warning, contains pictures of Lingerie!).
Inside the store I found RL links alongside SL replicas of those items. Not the most original concept but then I met the owner of the enterprise, Gabriel LeShelle, and his enthusiasm for Second Life was quite frankly a breath of fresh air. Here was the owner of a RL company who was actually embracing Second Life.
Carnal’s entry into Second Life wasn’t a hasty decision, it was a year in planning. They asked SL resident Jason Kirshner to build the store and employed the talents of SL residents Moxie Polano and Forda Fairlane to make their designs in world. You can read more about Carnal’s entry into Second Life here.
This is how I believe RL companies should approach SL. Whereas LL like them to have an island, I feel they should incorporate themselves within the world, not have their own island. Carnal may be a small company, but they are embracing SL rather than releasing a press statement saying they’re here and then wondering why nobody visits.
In the interests of fairness I decided to visit the playboy sim (SLURL). They too now have SL replicas of RL items (I didn’t notice many some time ago when I first visited). However I couldn’t find a classified for Playboy.
Why aren’t Playboy renting mall space? That way they build a business relationship with other business people in SL. Alternatively why don’t Playboy open a mall and offer rental space? I’m sure store owners would be interested in a proposal like that. Instead they seem stand offish.
At Carnal, the owner is more than happy to talk to people. He was delighted when he made his first RL sale, based on his SL product. He’s planning a fashion show, more stores and wants to immerse himself in this world, not sit back and wonder why people aren’t coming.
However it’s not just lingerie that I see this issue with. When Herman Miller found out that furniture based on their designs was being sold here they came with a two pronged attack. One was to file a suit againts those infringing copyright and the other was to make these creations available in world. That’s the way to do it.
Why don’t more RL companies intergrate themselves with the populace, why for example don’t RL corps sponsor people like (for example) Sarah Nerd, put their name to one of her islands, contribute to the upkeep in return for that sponsorship? That way the brand is backing an established name here. Sarah of course might be aghast at the proposal, I was only making an example!
I’ve always maintained that RL companies need to come to us, rather than us go to them. Some residents of course don’t like the idea of RL companies being here at all, but I think that building relationships by incoroporating existing residents is the way to go.
I am of course biased towards Carnal, after all it’s my island they’ve arrived at and I found it all rather exciting (hey I’m still relatively new!). However I liked what I saw (and it wasn’t just because of the photos) and I liked what I heard.