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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 7:22PM (Unverified) said

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Even in the virtual world first impressions count.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 7:29PM Scuffles said

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I might be wrong but wasn't the point of second life that you could fundamentally do anything you put your mind to ?

create your own world and interact with it however?

Whats the point of having a huge sandbox if all you get to play with are those little preshaped sandcastle buckets. I mean I can understand them segmenting the world(s) to some extent but ...... dress code ? really ? I havn't been subject to a dress code, save for work, since middle school.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 7:53PM (Unverified) said

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I think you missed the point of the article. It's not that the games themselves will impose a dress code, but that businesses with a presence within virtual worlds like Second Life will require their employees who represent them in game to have their avatars meet certain requirements.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 8:20PM DrewIW said

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"Your business has a presence in Second Life."

I may be missing something here, but doesn't that just mean your employees are playing computer games?

I can imagine absolutely no scenario where a company would require, or even benefit from, a "presence" in Second Life.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 8:59PM (Unverified) said

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You might want to tell that to Sun Microsystems and many other businesses who use Second Life for training, meetings, and morale-building across international boundaries. They'd be surprised to hear they gain zero benefit from using SL.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 9:14PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Nope. Many companies use SL to conduct virtual meetings, display presentations in a virtual environment without flying out all of their executives, and even do things like floor plans and conduct exercises.

One of my personal favorite examples is Wal-Mart and their use of virtual space to set up their floor plans for their stores. This way they can set it up, walk around it virtually, see if it works, and learn from their planning. If it doesn't look right or work the way they want it to, they can easy scratch it and move things around without changing their stores and wasting the time and energy of employees to constantly reset the store format.

Wal-Mart is certainly a crazy evil corporation, but it goes to show how companies can take advantage of virtual space in unique ways.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 10:10PM (Unverified) said

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I pay my real life mortgage helping schools and universities build their virtual presence. Some of them are using it to build floorplans, much like Walmart. The advantage to doing this in SL versus something like a traditional 3D program is that your entire team can come inside and build together at the same time. The architecture department at our local university is getting into SL for exactly that reason, and their philosophy students are having an interesting time using it as a space to meet online (avoiding long commutes) to discuss the nature of virtual life.

Also Drew, you're completely overlooked all of the businesses in SL that are based entirely on sales within SL. There's hundreds of designers making a real life living cranking out virtual product there - clothes, buildings, you name it. Many of them employ people to staff their stores there and handle customer service, and as those people represent their brand, it would be reasonable to set some rules for them.

I think virtual dress codes in these situations are probably a good thing. I'd hope that professionals would understand the difference between showing up as a robot and showing up dressed like a dominatrix, but sometimes people need to be told in no uncertain terms.


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Posted: Nov 3rd 2009 10:51PM (Unverified) said

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why would any corporation want to hire someone who doesn't get what it means to be professional and represent the company in the right light?
Being "yourself" has nothing to do with working for someone else. When you're on the clock, you play by their rules. In fact, you should know their rules without them having to enforce a dress code. Would you show up to work looking like a slut in real life? NO. So why think it's acceptable in second life?

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 1:48AM (Unverified) said

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SL brings new meaning to having a dress code. What company wants someone dragging a naked fox furry with a ballgag, iron collar and a leash through their virtual Disneyland?

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 1:54AM Zach Adams said

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I see NO problem with this at all. If manning your company's SL booth is your job or part of it, you need to have a tasteful avatar, possibly in a uniform. Then, when you punch out, you can get your tentacled catgirl out.

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 6:39AM (Unverified) said

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I run a Japanese market where we sell antiques, furniture, decoration but also buildings and building elements. I have 4 girls working and they are always dressed to fit in the environment. It is just the extra touch and visitors seem to like it a lot. Because the scenery is realistic th epersonell also should adept I think.

Ami

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 7:45AM (Unverified) said

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Are they dressed in period costumes to match the era of the items they sell? Because that would be cool!

PS - I get a commission if you adopt my idea and your sales rise ;)
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Posted: Nov 4th 2009 7:47AM (Unverified) said

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I don't see a problem with businesses asking their employees to follow a dress code in SL. It's much the same as in real life. If you're working for a company, you want to project that company's image when you're 'on the clock'. Just the same as you wouldn't wear that old concert t-shirt and ragged jeans when helping customers (unless you worked at a Hot Topic or something..) you want to dress appropriately to the venue.

My only thing that I wonder about is companies who don't really understand what SL can do for them. They just try to replicate what they already have in real life, or they try to make a static 3-D web site and then wonder why their location really isn't interesting. You can do most things you can imagine in SL, don't let yourself be trapped by physical realities in a virtual world.

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 11:38AM (Unverified) said

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I will never forget the day a scantily clad red demoness walked into my SL office, tugging a naked woman on a chain behind her. She took a seat, and the chained woman knelt next to her. She came to ask for my translation services, and a conversation started, in which the chained woman participated with good input. In the end we reached an agreement, and demoness and her pet teleported out.

In the atomic world, we would all have worn suits, or at least business casual. And probably the chained woman, or even the demoness, might have felt uncomfortable, unnatural in the suits. However in SL, they radiated that they felt perfectly happy in their shapes and avatars, and in the demonstrated relationship.

And for me it was natural as well. I never had a phantasy avatar, but I usually wear casual clothing. And it was natural to have a demoness and a anked pet as clients.

SL loses its magic day after day. The social expectation of a business dresscode for avatars will be another piece of magic lost.

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 11:48AM (Unverified) said

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I would counter that by saying that the demoness and her pet were your clients, not your employees. I too am against the creeping sterilization that is going on in Second Life, part of the reason I spend less time there these days than in the past. But when you are representing a company, even if it's just you, then you have to remember that you ARE representing a company. When someone looks at an employee, they're basing their opinions about that company.

In my time in SL, I've held jobs as a club dancer, games host and content creator/sales person. In each of those jobs I dressed appropriately. Wearing my club outfit would look strange if I was talking to someone about my cyberpunk gear or vice versa. It's all about the venue.
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Posted: Nov 7th 2009 1:48AM (Unverified) said

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I have no problem working with CUSTOMERS who are in any avatar or attire, as you state. But I would be appalled if one of my STAFF were to parade around like this, when on the clock and representing my company.

It's not censorship, it's simply being professional.

SL is growing up. I don't think the fantasy or magic will disappear, but it probably won't be the centerpiece as it has been. This might not be a bad thing, really.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2009 12:56PM (Unverified) said

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Noooooooo
This is what's wrong with business is REAL life: the delusion that a professional dress code implies skill and/or capability.

Plus it's a game.

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 1:42PM (Unverified) said

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I agree. I NEVER trust a suit. They have never given me a reason to trust them.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2009 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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And there is where you confuse things. Business dress does not equal a suit. The key in business is to project a certain image. I didn't wear a suit when I was dancing, and I wouldn't wear my club wear into an office I was working at. You dress appropriate to the venue. There are plenty of places in SL where the demon, or the goth or the furry or the anime character are perfectly in place and someone in a suit or business casual outfit would look out of place. And in those cases, it's appropriate to dress that way if you're representing a company.

Nor is Second Life a game. It has more in common with chat rooms and web sites than Warcraft. A game has some structure, rating or scoring system and a goal. Second Life just exists as a virtual world. It's up to the people there to create their own structure and goals. This is something that's lost on many people who have tried or heard about SL and just 'didn't get it'.

Posted: Nov 4th 2009 8:35PM (Unverified) said

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I can't wait for the first screenshot of a business meeting/workplace that looks like Matrix Revolutions minus everyone but Smith...

ps:you should probably start using a photoshoped version of somthing like http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/39/Smithposter.jpg/250px-Smithposter.jpg for blog posts on this topic ;P

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