Red Light Center (RLC), a virtual world focusing on adult entertianment may now be one of the most popular Virtual Worlds according to Alexa. RLC is the virtual component of Utherverse, a Social Networking site geared towards adult content. Basically, a Myspace for adults. RLC hovers at 555,000 registered users and is in the process of releasing a second public beta.

Daily Traffic Rank Virtual Worlds

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(Three month Daily Reach chart provided by Alexa on 9/17/07)

What I like about RLC or rather lessons to be learned from their design… RLC incorporates Web 2.0 technologies with their virtual world, like combining MySpace with Second Life. The advantage is that you can participate in the community without being logged into the 3-d world. RLC has active forums on the website and a way to search and read user profiles from the web. Users can comment to each other, post and share pictures, and integrate music and video into their profiles. I feel this provides a sense of being involved in the community without having to be “in-world”.

Red Light Center Profiles

After creating a profile, similar to Myspace, a user receives a welcome message from a mentor, a first friend. The Friend has a complete profile you can view which models how the designers expect you to use their tool. The profile includes; comments, Real life and virtual pictures, comments from friends, pictures of friends, and links to websites and video. Your first friend, “Texxy” for me, offers to show you around the Red Light Center when you first log in.

In a way, the Web 2.0 component allows a user to be orientated to the virtual world even before they log in. Before entering the world, you have a friend, you’ve seen pictures, and you have an idea of what to expect. Another neat feature, while the software is downloading for the first time, RLC plays a welcome video for you explaining how different accounts work, how to chat and IM with people, where to go for fun, and how to use their interface.

RLC is all about connecting people for virtual and possible RL sex. The interface includes a “Get Naked” button, and an orgy club is mentioned in the welcome video. I don’t see this being a virtual world for education but there are lessons to be learned from their orientation presentation and integration of Web2.0 and 3D technologies.

Red Light Center Avatar
This is a basic Avatar in RLC, notice the attempt to make the body “real” vs the cartoon like SL default bodies.

Red Light Center Adult Movie House

An Adult Movie house in RLC, Real life videos are streamed into RLC

3 Responses

  1. If you are looking for social networking / virtual world integration you might want to look at Kaneva. Kaneva is still in beta and should be adding features to the virtual world.

    Second Life has forums, quite active forums. One use to be able to create forums for Second Life groups but that was discontinue a while back. Various third parties have social networking of sorts for SL users, with MySpace-ish looks and functions, but none seem to have gathered too much interest from SL users. SL users can use the sluniverse and slexchange forums to chat when not inworld, and to share pictures. There are websites one can use to log in to SL with a text client, or one can download a standalone program program like SLeek for connecting with SL pals when not in SL.

    Red Light Center uses the Active Worlds technology for it’s virtual world, an old style of virtual world. I find the RLC method less real feeling than SLs. The avatar movement in SL feels more normal. I don’t find the RLC avs to be as good looking as SL avatars. Any defiencies in the default SL avatar skin can easily be corrected with a number of free skins while figuring out if one wants to buy a skin and if so which one. Of course if the goal is for education having the most realistic or good looking skin is perhaps not a matter of great importance.

    I’d like to see Zoho’s collaboration suite and Google Docs integrated into a virtual world. Zoho in particular; Zoho offers a broader packages of features than Google Docs does. Integrating a virtual world with Zoho would give you collaborative word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, collaborate blackboards with group annotation, calendars, wiki, email, databases, etc. I’d say this is more the sort of Web 2.0 that educators should be wanting integrated with a virtual world than adding MySpace/Facebook style features.

  2. Wow, thanks for the great information. I think the types of tools Myspace-ish vs collaboration tools depends on the epistemolgy of the instructor. In my case i lean towards post-strucutral pedagogy and i frequently integrate student’s life stories and personal media like pictures, music, blogs etc into their class activties. I don’t think i’ve ever used spreadsheets, databases, presentation software, or collaborative BBs, for me, those are business tools not education tools (i do use lots of email : ) )But i agree that Most educators will be wanting a mixture of collaborative “groupware”. I haven’t used Zoho before so i’ll be sure to check it out. I also didn’t know LC was using the active worlds engine, very interesting. Thanks again for the wonderful info!

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