Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Hotel Chain Debuts Latest Accommodations in Game World

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will unveil a new hotel in 2008; however, the company decided to create a virtual version first.
August 14, 2006

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced it would unveil a new chain of hotels sometime in 2008. But you won’t have to wait two years to enjoy the accommodations, according to this News.com article. The company announced it would open a virtual version of its hotels in Second Life, an online virtual world that’s less computer game and more, well, a second life.

From the article:

In the brick-and-mortar realm, the plan is for the first Aloft inn to open sometime in 2008, catering to active, urban 30-to-50 year-olds. But the real-world lodge will be preceded by a 3-D cyberversion designed to prompt feedback from virtual guests and help guide the earthbound endeavor.

“We think the SL [Second Life] world is a specific community of early adopters, of tech-savvy people who like to voice their opinions,” said Brian McGuinness, vice president of the Aloft Hotels brand.

Virtual worlds have come a long way over the last few decades. As always-on connections become more ubiquitous and game developers become more skilled at creating complex storylines and mind-blowing graphics, an interesting phenomenon developed: online games have spawned real economies based on digital items (players building up their characters, for instance, then selling them on eBay).

Several savvy marketing companies have already set up shop in places like Second Life, reaching out to early adopters and hardcore gamers – each of whom has disposable income and the ability to virally spread information.

I’m not entirely sure what the hotel chain hopes to gain from this – other than lots of folks like me writing about how nifty it is that they’re participating in virtual world – but it’s certainly an interesting experiment.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.