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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Virtual Travel agency

Virtual world travel agency opens (digital) doors

In what could be construed as either opportunism or hyper-cleverness, two Italian entrepreneurs have opened the doors to a virtual world travel agency, Synthravels, as the virtual world boom approaches its apex. The pair promises to lead the uninitiated curious through some of the most well-known online spaces, demonstrating each world's unique appeals and landmarks to potential customers.
They offer tours of over 20 worlds, from Guild Wars to There, specialising their destination guides according to the topographical and social slant of each space.
From their website (reg. req'd):
Synthravels is the first organization to offer a complete guide service to all the people who want to make a tour in virtual worlds without knowing these new realities, even if they have never put their feet in these strange, synthetic grounds.

Gaming for the terminally lazy and/or the tourist? This could revolutionise the MMOG platform faster than a hawker can set up a holy water stall next to an apparition site. Witness the throngs of business people setting up "My Grandmother went to Azeroth and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt" stands! Be amazed at the flocks wide open to avatar muggers (pdf)! Watch in disbelief as the prices of virtual property shoot through the roof near newly decreed "places" of interest, and plummet in areas without tourist attractions.
How absolutely fascinating.
Then again, it's not a new idea. As Raph writes, there were tour operators in action in Ultima Online back in 1997, and treasure hunts have been used in virtual worlds for several years to initiate newbies when they first arrive.
But then again, as the gap widens between those who know what "we're" talking about and those who can't make heads nor tails of games and virtual worlds, an independent and user-friendly guide to the options may be a great introduction.

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