Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nickles and Sense

I buy too much junk in SL. That's not only because there is so much junk to buy or that I'm in any way a shopaholic. It results from what I'd like to call the "cashier line of boredom in SL".

Certainly, I'm not going to collect this year's Noble Prize in Economics for this thought, but I see something working in SL that works wonderfully in RL already. Imagine yourself standing in line at the cash register. Two people ahead of you some .... let's call him "age challenged citizen" is fumbling through his wallet, muttering "that's a dime, no a nickel. How much do you need again?".

Having already read through all the nutrient value of the mashed potato mix you wish to buy and having wondered whether E 234 is generally a good or bad thing you find you eyes wandering to the left. Candy bars! And mints! And batteries - which don't taste half as good as the first two but are doubly useful. While the senior citizen begins his counting again you find your hand sneaking out, curling around a mars bar and casually throwing it on the conveyor belt. And then you add the batteries too.

I find myself doing the equivalent of this in SL. In moments of boredom I find myself typing something into Search. "Men's clothing", or maybe more specifically "men's suits" or sometimes even exceptionally specific like "Burlington style cardigan with matching socks". I never really find what I want, but that's beyond the scope of this post.

What I do find is a store and what I usually end up doing is purchasing something. Usually an object I neither really need nor really want. I buy the equivalent of SL batteries.

I've seen many stores in SL that attempt to offer some sort of entertainment. In fact, most clubs I've seen have stores latched onto them. This is, in my view, a bad idea. What store owners really should try to be striving for is this: Get the resident to the store and then keep her there bored. She'll eventually buy something. Well, maybe she wouldn't. Women have more sense than that.

But I would.


Anonymous said...

zeuuuw! eaton! do I detect some sexism here? as a failed female-variety shopper in RL, I had great hopes of increasing my consumerism in SL. But no, I hate it there just as much. Perhaps this is a business angle: the personal SL shopper assistant.