Glitchy linked a story yesterday that seems to have slipped past most of the metaversal bloggers (including me — although not Steven Davis at PlayNoEvil, who it was a pleasure to meet at E3): Chinese users can now make purchases in the sprite-filled isometric virtual world of Habbo Hotel that are delivered to them both as virtual items and as real ones. “Through the service, users can purchase items such as flowers, clothes and movie tickets online in the virtual community and the physical items will be delivered to their homes the next day,” according to the Pacific Epoch news site.
The busy hotel that is Habbo has millions and millions of users around the world (tens of millions of registered accounts), but is rarely mentioned on these shores. Now, it seems, it’s morphing at least partly into a shopping site, a move that only makes sense. (Aleks at the Guardian has this to say about it.) Remains to be seen what kind of impact that has on the socializing that takes place there — though of course it may be difficult to get news on that, given that it’s all happening in China. And don’t forget to read about the “Furni whores” of Habbo that we covered at the Second Life Herald a while back.