It's really a hard job to decide into which companies to invest. We at Open Ocean, my investment company, have talked with around 60 companies the last few months to find those that we think have a great potential and that would benefit from our involvement.
One company that more than well matched our investment criterias was Ironstar, that makes the MoiPal virtual world. With more than 100,000 registered users they are definitely a company to watch out for.
I have always been interested in virtual worlds and see how the communities around them continue to grow. The thing that really stands out to me with MoiPal, is the way it combines the social networking aspects similar to Facebook, with the caring of your online character, like you do with Tamagotchis or in games like Sims.
MoiPal has also open interfaces and engages other developers to expand the MoiPal world in their own, often unexpected, directions. Open interfaces are extremely important for a software to succeed today; For example, it was thanks to its open interfaces that MySQL got connections to all major programming languages and tools! This was something we could never have done by ourselves.
I think it's important that you learn when you play (as long as it doesn't take away the enjoyment of the game!). I think it will be easy to add more educational aspects into MoiPal; For example by making it easier to communicate with other "Pals" that has other languages and backgrounds. By building bridges to make the world a 'smaller place' we make it easier for people to understand and eventually respect each other. I personally like to invest in ideas that have a good social aspect!
On the business side, I found it really funny, when I heard that Lordi performed a virtual concert in MoiPal for thousands of players wearing virtual Lordi masks. I can envision this to be a major channel to launch youth brands in the future. When we reach a million users, I would hope we could launch for instance the H&M Spring collection simultaneously in MoiPal and in the real world. Then youngsters could buy the same trendy outfit, both for themselves and for their Pal.
I know that the audience of this blog is unlikely to be users of MoiPal. I hope you will still find this information about MoiPal interesting; If you have young children it's likely that you will find them at MoiPal and then it's good to know that it's a good and safe place for them to be in!