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3D mall is just such a stupid idea, we can't believe it

Virtual real shopping. Or is that real virtual shopping?

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You can almost hear the conversation:

"Buying on the Internet's fine, but it's not like doing it for real."

"Oh, I know what you mean. I like to browse."

"Browse, yes. And walk about, go into shops. It's just more natural."

"Oh, I know. What we really need is an online real shopping centre [laughs]."

"Hang on. I've got a friend who has his own homepage."

And so ECLand was born. ECLand is an online shopping mall. What's that? Well, it's a "unique 3D approach to shopping on the Internet." It has "finally made on-line shopping not only accessible to all but also fun for all." Terrific, you say. How does it do it?

Why, by "replicating as closely as possible the experience of wandering around a real shopping mall (minus the crowds, screaming children and bad tempered shop assistants)."

If you want to check it out go to ECLand's site here. It doesn't take long (but you will have to pull it off the start menu when you delete it).

What do you get? Essentially, a sanitised version of Doom. Move around using your cursors. Rush about this brightly-lit mall. Go into shops. Click on pixelated signs for goods. End up in a text-based shopping service. Have a quick look on the next level up. Nothing there, you say? Oh well come back down again. And that's it. Oh, not forgetting the handy creature assistant thing that is just like (i.e. useless) Ms Boo from that reputable dotcom Boo.

Now the question is: why oh why oh why? Why would anyone want to do this - it's horrible. And creepy. And time-consuming. And daft. And there's virtually nothing there. And it's crap. Everyone herethat has had a go said: "shame I haven't got a gun or something." So there is your only possible way of saving whatever you've paid to set up this dreadful thing - get Eidos or someone on the phone and sell the shopping mall landscape. Or get them to give you some shoot 'em up coding.

And please think it through next time. ®

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