The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. Reuters – Cell phones and virtual worlds morphing shopper ways. “Virtual worlds, mobile coupons and bar-code readers on cell phones are the next technology wave that U.S. chain stores must ride if they hope to stay competitive in the fast-changing world of global retail”.

2. The Bulletin Online – Public health lessons from virtual game worlds. “It’s challenging to model disease spread during epidemics. Simple mathematical models such as the “general epidemic” model make assumptions about constant population size, homogeneous mixing, and constant recovery rates, but can only go so far in predicting an outbreak’s severity”.

3. Tech News World – Virtual World Workforce, Part 1: Promising the World. “It’s a dream scenario: A candidate aspiring to a pivotal job in the culinary arts field enters the virtual world Second Life, having never been an online gamer before. He attends an online job fair held by recruiting company TMP Worldwide and is interviewed by major food and operations services company Sodexho. As a result, he lands a job as an executive chef with the firm”.

4. BBC News – NASA investigates virtual space. “The US space agency is exploring the possibility of developing a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. The virtual world would be aimed at students and would ‘simulate real NASA engineering and science missions’ “.

5. San Jose Mercury News – New passage to Gaia. “In a sign that social networks and virtual worlds are beginning to meld, Gaia Online, the popular virtual playground for teens, will announce Tuesday a connection to its site from inside social network Facebook”.

6. ABC News (USA) – Asperger’s Therapy Hits Second Life. “Texas researchers believe that people suffering from Asperger’s syndrome — a cognitive disorder often referred to as high-functioning autism — may have found a new therapy in an unlikely place: the online virtual world Second Life”.

7. New World Notes – Second Life Grows Beyond Its Map. “Click the image on the left: this is the world of Second Life’s grid as it exists now– 26.5 million acres*, with three major land masses to the Southeast, surrounded by a veritable galaxy of disparate islands.”

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