It would appear that companies are boarding up their virtual windows and leaving their virtual towns in droves. People such as IBM and American Apparel have decided that the '8 million' on-line residents aren't shopping like they were supposed to. Probably because the '8 million on-line residents tag is a big fat lie.
I'm tempted to agree with the article, in that the average 'Lifer' is more interested in alternative, risque experiences, that's the main reason people go there in the first place, who on earth is surprised that casinos, strip-clubs and porno places are the most popular form of entertainment? That and riding giant hamster balls apparently (thanks to Nissan). Second Life in a nutshell, is surely all about experiencing something different and interesting and for a while that was shopping, i guess....
It's time though for Ad/Media guys to step up, can they take the odd and peculiar (not forgetting the risque and down right weird) and make it work for mainstream markets or will their target audience be reduced to the more freakish of the virtual world?
Check out the LA Times @