(This should probably be 2 separate blog posts but the topics are related and I’m feeling impatient this morning)
I don’t know much about video games, but I get why other people like them. Once you start playing, I imagine that the quest to reach the next level or increase your score is hard to resist. I’m competitive like that, but I’m more of a Sudoku kind of a gal and right now, finishing a puzzle is enough for me.
I have thought of the whole gamer thing as being mostly age-related, but my mind has changed a bit on that. Obviously, there are plenty of gamers that are young, but I would not be surprised if gamers over 30 equaled those under. I see it as more of a cultural thing; aside from the entertainment involved in playing the game, there is a sense of community. You can share your stats with your friends. It’s a social thing. I get it. I don’t play, but I get it.
So it’s easy to admire the cool factor from the outside. I read today about some interns developing games for the XBox 360. OK, so I don’t play the games but I can see how much fun it would be to do an internship and then have your game actually come to fruition. Good for them.
Speaking of technology that makes me feel a little out of the cool loop, there’s Second Life, where a virtual job fair is taking place. I hadn’t really planned on blogging about this because I’m not sure that many marketers get into Second Life. But I thought I could at least confirm that hypothesis. I’m not able to participate in the job fair because some zippy little video card is needed (did I mention I am not a gamer?) and I can’t be without my machine this week to get it installed. Besides, I’m definitely NOT the right person to be chatting up the techies that I imagine mostly inhabit Second Life. You want to talk about technology enabled social awkwardness? I can have a great conversation with a marketer, but at this point in my career, I’ve become a specialist. When it comes to talking with a developer, I’m not sure how much beyond “what languages do you program in?” I can get. Hmm, last time I was screening tech folks, Y2K was all the rage, or the fear. One or the other.
I think that one of the challenges of the space that I work in is that there are many technology tools that are available…too many to keep track of, quite frankly. But at the core of our work are relationships and while many of the tools enable relationships (like LinkedIn), some of them are either intended or used to replace relationships. It’s hard to weigh the value of the new stuff that comes up because the novelty of many of the tools is staggering. They are impressive, but you (well, at least I) have to question whether they solve a problem I have. I don’t want to be a nay-sayer because these tools may solve a problem other people have, but I look at something like Second Life and I wonder whether, outside of the novelty, it meets a recruiting need for my team. I realize that it isn’t a “recruiting tool” but the opportunity is being marketed.
There’s actually something to be said for the novelty in and of itself. It gets attention. So if your target audience is paying attention to it, I could understand there being some value there for you, even if just an opportunity to market to them.
So anyway, here’s my question: do marketers care about Second Life? Specifically, do marketers as an audience care about Second Life? If you are marketing to tech folks and you care about Second Life because that is where your audience is, that is something different. But as the consumer, is it a (virtual) place where you would go? As marketing recruiters, should we be spending our time to find you there or not?