Singapore Government Betting on Virtual Worlds

That’s the message I hear from business people who are involved with virtual world applications in Singapore. James Ong from Origami Frontiers put it very straightforward in the following video clip, talking about why he came back from the states after 20 years.

(If the connection is slow, just click and watch the low definition version)

Singapore government is providing funds with a committed $70 million for this sector, if you ask me, that’s a whopping lot of money for a toddler industry. We met up with Dan Lejerskar, who would share his experience later today @ DXO for a casual chatting session. The thing that stroke me is that he knew all along that this industry is hard to form for the general consumers. It takes years to the virtual worlds to come to maturity with other infrastructures of the consumers. Meanwhile, he is focusing on the application of virtual reality of corporations who has the deep pocket to be the early adopters.

Singapore Government’s acquiring 2nd life’s land was certainly a good gesture to this industry. Though my hope is that the government could get more involved with regulating and directing companies like Twinity, who does not have a company vision of its own but merely “a neutral platform which provides everyone with a change to create anything.” That tagline sounds nice, until you realize the quality and the design of the experience could only come from a more focused goal like World of Warcraft from Blizzard.

That’s why I don’t foresee that these companies who are the sole platform providers for consumers could make money that soon. The problem we are solving now is that are we are NOT READY to pay for the things that could only exist on-line, and doesn’t give you much physical satisfaction as you do like eating meal. I think the most important thing for now is to simulate a unified experience throughout the platforms and locations. People don’t want to pay the same price for vastly different experience. It takes years to build an experience like in World of Warcraft.

Singapore government is betting on the future, and I wish her the all the best.