The idea was so intriguing that instead of reading the announcement very deeply, I jumped right to the virtual world's website. Hmm. Their slogan is "where faithful friends unite". That seems really warm and fuzzy. A video played at the top of the screen showing a long-haired dude standing in front of a cool yellow sports car inviting me to "become a United Nations Citizen now!"
I poked around a bit, but couldn't find a way to sign up for citizenship, only an application for a virtual job.
I went back to the press release to try to figure out what was going on. Five companies were named as partners: Cisco, Equifax, Heads and Tails TV, Faithful Friends TV and Montage Systems. Strange combination...a couple firms delivering programming for pet owners, an advertising agency with a direct response bent, the leading supplier of networking equipment and network management for the Internet, and a company that holds one of the largest sources of consumer data in the world.
I read on:
More than 330 stores already are members of United Nations Citizens through affiliate marketing agreements, including Apple iTunes, Microsoft Store, Walmart, and Sky Mall, providing customers a unique way to view products and services in a setting that replicates real-world environments. Member companies are able to scale real-life presentations, combined with data collection, personalized product placement and digital signage, through seamless delivery over the web and mobile networks.Call me cynical, but it seems to me that their vision of the future equates "citizen" and "consumer" and is creating a virtual world that is a place to herd the world's faithful friends into an environment that is more "Minority Report" than "Avatar". Oh well.
What do you think? Here's the video that accompanied their press release.