June 26, 2007

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Sure, because Second Life is, like, their natural home

Paramount Pictures recently hosted a question and answer forum in Second Life for their new Transformers film. This event gave SL citizens a chance to query the director Michael Bay, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventure about their most pressing concerns regarding the lovable creatures who can change from various vehicles into ass-kicking robotrons.

Paramount is also opening a region called Sector 7 in which Second Lifers can wander through virtual sets from the movie as well as pick up their own Transformer avatars and movie memorabilia.

While we applaud Paramount for recognizing the potential of in-world promotions, we wonder if they’ve noticed that a lot of our citizens make Optimus Prime and Megatron appear downright cuddly.

Let’s hire the guy who stood on the desk

The big news in the resume-eat-resume world of employment agencies is Kelly Services’ recent success in placing a Second Life citizen in a real world job. Hildeguard Psaltery, known in First Life as Rev. Brenda Munroe, went to Kelly Services Island to look for some temp work while searching for her next permanent clergy position. There she met Hooligan Dollinger (known as “Dave Fenech” in First Life – and where do these First Lifers come up with their names?) who placed her with a medical supply company.

This is unquestionably another example of the ways in which Second Life can augment our real life careers, but another hiring innovation comes with decidedly mixed blessings.

The Wall Street Journal reported that employees are now staging in-world job interviews. Although it means that candidates don’t have to travel to meet with their prospective employees, there are a few downsides that can’t be ignored.

When Stephan Dowler applied for the position of an executive chef at Sodexho, he spent six hours at a TMP training course learning how to move his avatar around properly. He succeeded in giving it features much like his own, but dressing up in a suit and tie ultimately baffled him. To make matters worse, when he arrived at the meeting room, he was unable to sit properly. As a result, Stephan faced his interrogators dressed in jeans and a pullover while perched on the back of a chair.

Can the whole job thing get any worse?

The whole job thing gets worse

First virtual interviews, now this.

In a recent press release, Delta L Training has announced that it is taking team-building to a whole new dimension with its “training simulation” in Second Life.

The in-world teamwork training area is located on Education Island. Various tasks challenge participants to roll a ball together along a predetermined path, and to perform a specific task together without communicating – which is pretty much how offices work, isn’t it?

This endeavour is really just a virtual extension of the team-building exercises that the mad scientists in Human Resources have been putting their clients through for years. Hapless managers are dragged to remote locations where they practice trusting each other by falling backwards, and learn cooperation by trying to put together absurd projects with one hand tied behind their backs (again – very much like the office). The advantage with the Second Life training centre is that you can always have your ten-year-old son or daughter take your place. I mean, they’re probably way better at this virtual stuff than you are. Am I right?

And while they’re busy wowing your bosses, you can slip away to take in a movie. Maybe Severance, the horror comedy about a teambuilding exercise that goes terribly, terribly wrong.

How many lives does a Kit Kat have?

The Dutch have long been known for their sense of humour. Who else would build their country under sea level? But a new commercial launched in the Netherlands shows they also have a Second Humour.

In the spot a man walks down the street, stops at a door next to a shop, opens it and climbs the stairs to his apartment. Once inside he sits down at a computer and fires it up. The camera pans in and we see the log-in screen for Second Life. We next see his avatar, which looks almost exactly like him, as it walks down the street, stops at a door next to a shop, opens it, and climbs the stairs to its apartment. Once inside it sits down at a computer. The camera pans in and we see the log-in screen for “Third Life.”

The spot ends, “Have a Break. Have a KitKat.”

I don’t care. I like it.

You can watch it at Adverblog: http://www.adverblog.com/archives/003031.htm