RocketOn: Take a Fly Swatter to Avatars

I’ve tried PMOG (which constantly crashed my browser) and Weblin (which made too many irritating noises and left me feeling like my avatar was standing in the corner at a dance) and while they both hint at a future in which your avatar is everywhere, new competition comes from RocketOn which is built on the same principle - instead of embedding avatars in little widgets on Web sites, layer them right on TOP of a site on the principle, I suppose, that if you’re surfing Gamasutra or Obama and you see another avatar then maybe you have something in common and want to play a quick game of virtual backgammon or whatever.

But have a look at the video, and sure there’s ways to toggle the avatars and stuff, but all I want to do looking at this is buy a virtual fly swatter and smack the avatars walking all over the articles I’m trying to read.

Sure, 3D Web everywhere and all that, but there’s no real CONNECTION between the avatars and the content other than they happened to land there. At least with PMOG they tried to build a little story out of the system, letting you set up quests and rewards, kind of like a crowdsource Web surf.

Weblin: Itsy Bitsy Avatars:

PMOG: Surfing as a Game

TechCrunch reports that RocketOn is still in closed Beta and that their business model is based on microtransactions and sponsorship:

In addition to earning revenue from the sale of virtual goods, RocketOn is working to sign sponsorship deals with brands on the web. Say you visit insecticide company Black Flag’s website. Were Black Flag to sponsor RocketOn, it could build out its own interactive objects (like a roach motel) and entice avatars to participate in its own branded games (like killing as many roaches as possible with a spray can). Likewise, Gap could roll out a virtual clothing store ontop of its website where avatars buy its clothes and wear them wherever they go on the net.

TechCrunch had 500 or so invitations for its readers. For myself, I’ll pass.

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