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Forget Shaking, How’s About We All Give WeGoOutside a Try! (nsfw)
The big news in the startup world is that Israeli startup Shaker won the big prize at the Techcrunch conference this week. Many, including AOL employees, wonder what it is that Shaker is “disrupting” while others are talking about the conflicts regarding the finalists and AOL/CrunchFund’s funding of 2 of the top 3 and an upcoming investment in the winner. Of course questions are nothing new with Techcrunch (now aol) conferences – heck, I wrote about MC Hammer investment questions with regards to DanceJam at the first TC40.
When I saw Shaker, the first thing that popped into my head was, “oh it’s the new version of that game!” But I couldn’t remember the name of the game until Dean Collins replied to my message on the NYTM messageboard noting that Shaker is Leisure Suit Larry! And yep that’s exactly what it looks like.
TC writer Leena Rao describes Shaker as, “…a mixture of Second Life, The Sims, and Turntable.fm all mixed together using your Facebook data and connections. Your Facebook profile becomes a walking avatar, your pictures are placed on an virtual wall, you can choose what music is playing in the room for everyone to hear and you can even buy people drinks.”
Shaker looks like a fun game but what frustrated me in the Shaker demos is that the founders kept suggesting that this virtual world was, ” just like real life”. It is absolutely nothing like real life.
Rackspace startup blogger Robert Scoble seems to love Shaker – I just don’t see it here. I mean seriously – maybe I am missing something – but it’s a virtual world where you walk around and chat – AOL 1996 called. Sure you can click on a person and get their info but otherwise what, you dance on a bar? And just wait – the minute a woman “walks in” to the virtual chatroom, you will watch all the males run over. Something tells me these “bars” will be all male. Maybe it will work for the concert concept but even that will be a stretch.
As I watched the two demos of Shaker, I could only think of one thing (which applies to more than just Shaker)…
HOW ABOUT CALLING UP A COUPLE OF YOUR REAL FUCKING FRIENDS AND GOING OUT TO A REAL FUCKING BAR AND HAVING A DRINK OR DINNER AND SOME FUCKING CONVERSATION INSTEAD OF SITTING IN SOME FUCKING VIRTUAL WORLD.
And if you don’t have local friends or are new to your town, go to Meetup.com or Plancast, find a freaking meetup and get the gosh damn fuck out of your house. Walk up to a person, shake a hand, exchange a business card (heh), and smile. Learn something in your conversation.
I know it’s not easy to go outside and it’s way easier to stay home/office and chat on a social network or, now, play some 2.0 version of Leisure Suit Larry. But trust me, the more we sit at home and live online, the less we will be able to live offline.
Ok I am done. Now get out there and do something.