GMI's Menti builds surveys for Second Life
At the end of a hard day's graft, hundreds of thousands of people now choose to escape reality to spend time in Second Life – a 3D virtual world. However, one man has figured out a way to take his work with him.
Mario Menti, a solutions architect at MR software and services supplier GMI, is experimenting with ways of surveying the 282,000 active residents of this online world.
Menti – whose Second Life name is ‘Mario Sonic' – can create objects within the game that detect the presence of another player's avatar (or character).
The avatar is then invited to touch the object to take part in a GMI survey, with questions and answers delivered through the game's chat interface.
Surveys trialled so far are “very simple”, said Menti, consisting mainly of yes/no and multiple-choice questions, however open-ended responses can also be collected.
Menti believes more sophisticated implementations are possible though, including virtual product or concept testing.
Second Life residents are already creating their own in-game products, such as vehicles and clothes that can be sold for real-world currency.
And, despite the relatively small-size of the virtual world's community compared to the multi-million member networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook, real-world businesses are starting to make forays into Second Life – one of the most notable being the Starwood Hotels and Resorts chain, which built a replica of its new ‘Aloft' hotel within the game.
According to Second Life's homepage, a total of $329,825 had been spent in-world by residents within the last 24 hours.
For a video demonstration of Menti's Second Life surveys, click here to visit his blog.