Remember Mindark's Entropia Universe (formerly known as Project Entropia), the virtual world made famous for boasting some of the highest value virtual goods transactions? You know the one where a space station sold for a mere $330,000 USD?
The Entropian Universe has been quietly evolving over time and recently a new planet was discovered called ROCKtropia - the "first virtual music world and the first independently developed virtual planet in Mindark's Entropia Universe. Created by virtual world pioneer and entrepreneur Jon "NEVERDIE" Jacobs, the planet introduces a revolutionary, highly interactive venue for artists to connect with their fans while also creating a new revenue stream in the the music space and a platform for artists to pursue fame and fortune."
Jon "NEVERDIE" Jacobs made headlines in 2005 when he mortgaged his house and invested $100,000USD in a Project Entropia virtual space resort which he later named "Club NEVERDIE". Now millionaire avatar and musician Jon Jacbos and his Neverdie Studios are unleashing Jacob's latest vision as quoted from the LA Times ...
"I think what's going to happen is that every artist is going to have a virtual destination. Everybody in the music business can play a role in a virtual industry. Selling music is not the most important thing in the world when you can make money with a destination."
So while the rest of the metaversarati are talking about spreading our virtual selves thinly across the web, Jon Jacobs is betting on immersion and a sense of "place".
The first continent to be inhabited on the planet will be the home to destinations created for rock icon Lemmy, lead singer of Motorhead, and hit singer/songwriter/producer Kevin Rudolf. The continent will also feature the City of Dreams, where up-and-coming artists can pursue their aspirations and gain exposure, and the Vampire Freaks Cathedral, a gathering place for VampireFreaks.com members. ROCKtropia's lands currently include:
- Lemmy's Castle – Located high in the rugged terrain and mountains, Lemmy's Castle sits on the north side of ROCKtropia and is guarded by demon spawn, dragons and other creatures created by Lemmy himself.
- Motorhead Stadium – A massive arena inside a crater, Motorhead Stadium features three large stages that will be the location for live performances and battle events.
- ZOMhattan – Inspired by Manhattan and created in conjunction with Kevin Rudolph, ZOMhattan was originally intended to be the capital of ROCKtropia until beta testers' avatars were turned into zombies by a virus. A safe haven in the city, Rudolph's B.A.M.F Headquarters will also exist as a location for his fans to gather and check out new music and content from the singer. Fans of Rudolph will also be able to buy the singer's virtual merchandise, earn exclusive prizes and receive advance access to new material.
- City of Dreams – The center of pop culture in ROCKtropia, the City of Dreams is the location for aspiring artists to promote their music and pursue fame and fortune. Through quests, musicians can earn tokens to get their music played on Club NEVERDIE Live, ROCKtropia's main radio station, or score airplay on Jango internet radio. Artists that prove popular can earn the opportunity to get their own studio and potentially their own income-generating venue. The city will also be the home to a palace run by Audio-Freaks.com, one of the UK's biggest, most popular Dance Music Production companies, and NEVERDIE Studios' own machinima Film Studio, the location for new artists to create their own music videos.
- VampireFreaks Cathedral – Situated in ROCKtropia's deep forest and surrounded by vampire chicks, wolves and werewolves, the Cathedral is home to VampireFreaks.com members, the largest industrial Goth Vampire social network with more than 3 million members.
I tried to have a look around ROCKtropia, but I started the download about an hour ago and it looks like I still have six hours remaining. Bummer. The good news is that I was able to find a ROCKtropia walk through of Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister's place, known as Lemmy's Castle.
You can decide for yourself is you agree with ROCKtropia senior art director John Halsey when he says:
"It's so far beyond Second Life"
Speaking of Second Life, the Linden Lab PR team kicked off a "memehunter" roundtable discussions with live musicians, DJs and venue owners this week. More on that later.
Peace, art and music ~ Grace
Grace McDunnough on Koinup
Follow Grace on twitter