Tuesday, May 01, 2007


This Could Totally Work

Scott Adams says:

Have you heard of an online service for kids called Webkinz? It’s like a cross between cocaine and puppies. Kids can’t resist it. It’s frickin’ brilliant.

Before you use the Webkinz service, you have to buy a stuffed animal that comes with a code. You use that code to activate an animated character in an online world that looks like your stuffed animal. The brilliant part is that your online critter will become sick if you don’t regularly visit and care for it. Somehow this makes kids emotionally invested.

Kids can earn fake money by playing games on the system. That money goes toward caring for their online creatures, including buying furniture and so on. Kids love it. But I think kids aren’t the biggest market for this sort of thing.

I think single women would want an online boyfriend they could totally control. But here’s the hook: The online boyfriend is a “project.” If you don’t sign into the system regularly, your online boyfriend will start dressing with clothes from the 80’s, smoking, gambling, staying out late, and flirting with other women.

It’s the “owner’s” job to make the virtual boyfriend eat right, exercise, look for a job, and trim his nose hair. If he scratches his crotch or passes gas during an online dinner party, he gets no virtual sex for a week.

The women could earn fake online money by playing games just like in the Webkinz model. For example, imagine a Tetris-type game where articles of clothing fall from above and you have to assemble them into coordinated outfits before they reach the ground. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a hit.

I am thinking about a game where the intense sports dads could have virtual sports sons. After training their virtual sports sons, they could get together with other sports dads and have virtual sports contests with their virtual sports sons. This way, real world boys would be free to play World of Warcraft.

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