Friday, December 5, 2008

Red Bull First to Setup Shop in Playstation Home: US Army Joins Second Life

Red Bull is developing an island inside Home, Sony’s long-awaited virtual world for the PS3. Gamers will be able to race planes on the island in competitions modeled after the real world Red Bull Air Race World Series. Red Bull is the first company to set up shop in Home. Brand Republic says Sony (NYSE: SNE) execs kept mum on additional brand partners, but said they’d announce them in the coming months. Home‘s public beta is slated for the end of this year. Not content with using in-game ads to recruit gamers, the U.S. Army is going virtual, setting up operations in Second Life. The Army is building two islands in the world: one will serve as a welcome center with an info kiosk and the means to contact a recruiter, and the other will let residents test out various Army experiences, including jumping out of a plane and using a weapon. Residents that do well in the simulations can earn Lindens (virtual currency) that can be used to buy branded Army merchandise. It’s a notable effort, though Wired says Army brass has realistic expectations for just how effective a recruitment tool Second Life will be. Still, no word on how they’ll deal with the inevitable protesters ... or the escorts.

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