Virtual Stars Part 4: Making it Work

I've explored that

  1. A Virtual Star Seems a Viable Venture.
  2. That such a creation has benefits.
  3. That there are specific challenges one can face.

There's only one more thing for me to examine out of all of this – namely, how do I think you could create a Virtual Star correctly and profitably?  I've been enjoying this analysis, and want to indulge in a little thought experiment on what can work.  So here's How Steve Would Do It:

  1. Target your market demographically and product wise.  Have an initial focus for what you want to deliver (music, games, etc.) and to whom.  Don't worry, you can always expand later.
  2. Have your team ready – get artists, programmers, and writers together.  Build a team just like you would for any media production.
  3. Be obvious.  That may sound strange, but you should not deny that your new/upcoming star is virtual and you might actually have fun with it.  It could even become a marketing tool "A new virtual singer just for you" or "the best guide for your new educational adventure."
  4. Consider involving the audience.  Your virtual star could be developed with audience feedback and suggestions.  People might even get into it (and yes,they might try and crash it, but such is the risk you take).
  5. Start a dialogue as soon as possible and make it personal.  Your new Virtual Star should have blogs, twitters, respond on message boards, etc. as soon as you can.  Have them take emails and answer them in public, etc.  The star needs to be accessible and act human.
  6. Get the products out fast – and reasonably.  You want to use that brand as soon as possible with whatever product you're working.  In many cases it may need to be ready to go before the star's image is settled on.  You can always re-render those graphics or re-compile the voice track.
  7. Keep up the public interactions.  "Live" appearances, talk shows, what have you.  Get the star out there.
  8. Run with the virtuality.  Have the Star speak at conventions on computer graphics, give interviews with media figures, etc.
  9. Monitor, evolve, expand.  Keep the Star live, out there, and keep Her going.
  10. Better Yes than No.  Avatar items for websites or consoles?  Go for it.  Skins for games?  Go for it.  Better you get the Star out there than not.
  11. Restrain the lawyers.  There is very little publicity that is bad, so get ready to restrain your lawyers and your concerns as you witness some . . . rather pronounced derivative works.

So there's my take on how I'd create a Virtual Star.  Yes, it's a thought experiment, but it is a fun one.

So, with my analysis done of Virtual Stars, and my theory of how one could make one, let's leave you with this thought . . .

How would you make one, for what product, and what would you do?

Steven Savage