What do Snoop Dogg and organic blueberries have in common?

They’re both meatspace brands who’ve seen substantial success from crossmarketing themselves with digital equivalents in virtual spaces and MMOs. If the trend of material minimalism continues (which doesn’t seem utterly infeasible, given the continued rocky uncertainties of the world’s economies), the digital sphere may become the last bastion for affordable and aspirational conspicuous consumption*… and a real moneyspinner for the more established virtual worlds.

And those worlds are already a moneyspinner: Blizzard recently got a US$88million judgement against someone who was running their own (unlicensed) WoW server/world, charging users for access and virtual goods. That’s not pocket change, at least not in this household.

[ * Although, based on my experiences in Second Life, you’d be best not to expect virtual bling and brands to be any more tasteful than their meatspace equivalents. 0_o ]