A while back, I made a prediction concerning the emergence of a new industry: Commercial Avatar Developer.
The St Paul Pioneer Press provides an article with seven “avatar artists” to hire to create your original avatar. This is a big deal folks. Here’s why.
Prediction 2. Interest in creating digital avatars for gaming and networking will skyrocket in 2010.
The upcoming Avatar film is going to create massive worldwide interest in the concept of digital avatars. As more people learn about avatars, they will move from a niche market in virtual worlds like Second Life to the mainstream.
Interest in creating/owning a cool avatar to represent yourself online will create entire new industries such as commercial avatar development, which will in turn lead to avatar auctions, gifts, beauty, bling, fashion, universal currency, etc.
Avatars are already an important component in many social games (especially in Asia) and the new 3D movie by Jim Cameron will help take interest in avatars to a whole new level.
I believe we are on the cusp of an incredibly important shift in how (especially young) people value virtual items related to their identities vs the real world. The more time people spend online in social networks and increasingly in virtual world environments, the more important virtual goods, services, currency and even personal identity are going to become as opposed to the real world. Avatars are going to become a more central component of online life very soon.