Apr 172007
 

(Disclaimer: Writing this from a noisy, smokey opening party at the Martinez Hotel on the Croisette in Cannes)…I am currently taking in the wonders of another Milia in Cannes in the South of France on behalf of LAMP @ AFTRS. There is a great line up of speakers, organised again by my old friend Ferhan Cook, who I touched base with earlier today. I will be blogging, as last year, of significant events or activities but mostly focusing on the twenty plus great seminars. Already the climate here on the first day has been one of a mature acceptance of the deep changes going on in the TV industry to the extent that TV is now only a part of the media mix – remember Milia is paired with Mip (which used to be called MipTV). One announcement that caught my eye today was the recent teaming up of Endemol and EA on a service called Virtual Me

CANNES, FRANCE, – April 16, 2007 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, and the Endemol group, a global leader in television and other audiovisual entertainment, today announced a creative partnership for the development of Virtual Me, a new digital entertainment concept that bridges the divide between traditional TV and videogames. The all-new online offering is being prepared to debut in Endemol’s top-rated Big Brother.

I actually stumbled across this not through the official channels of Milia press releases on the ground (although it was mentioned at a session later on the first day) but at a blog called “Brand Strategy” that actually references a sticky post I did called “Witnessing the Birth of an Entertainment Form” on the Virtual Big Brother from many moons ago. I hope to catch up with some Endemol folk on Thursday as we will be graced by Phil Rosedale of Linden Lab and a host of other Second Life developers in a group of sessions about brands and marketing in the metaverse. Of course I am mentioning The Project Factory to folk and some of the great ‘mixed reality’ projects we have done at LAMP to key people who are now warming to the idea of these cross-over reality, virtual world formats.

It seems though that Endemols experiment with Big Brother has been noted and it is now moving forward apace with the metaverse. The 3D web will be therefore quite likely be more swamped with TV forms and brands rather than advertising in its crudest incarnation. There is something rather obvious in the evolution implied by this statement (and indeed in many from my posts of the previous months)

Want to be a pop star? A movie star? An action star? Virtual Me offers players the chance to participate in virtual versions of TV talent shows like Fame Academy and Operacion Triunfo, game shows like Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs 100 and to form real relationships with other virtual avatars on the web.

I will be writing a daily update of events at Milia a day behind with pictures but for now a glass of champagne and getting away from the cigar smoke is the order of the evening!

© Gary Hayes 2007