The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. Times Online – Second chance for Second Life. “The Wales-based new media whizzes Craig Morrison and Joel Cockrill are in the middle of building a second world in cyberspace. In the meantime they are having to negotiate this one.
Last week the boys from Bangor took the train up to Toronto from New York to see some new technology for creating 3-D maps.”

2. PC Quest (India) – Virtual Worlds: Live Beyond the Real. “The word ‘Virtual,’ has had a great impact on the IT industry. Virtualization has opened up new vistas for the IT industry and solved many a problem. Now is the time to go beyond platform or resource virtualization and look toward something totally different, a Virtual World.”

3. Wired.com – Paramount to Monetize Movie Clips in Virtual Worlds. “You know the promotional clips you can find for practically any movie online? Well, Paramount has found a way to monetize its collection. Oh, and it gets better — the film giant has earmarked its stash for sale within two virtual worlds.”

4. MrWeb – Forrester to Calibrate the Virtual World. “In the US, Forrester Consulting has been commissioned by a consortium of virtual world companies to help define standard marketing and engagement measures for the virtual space. The project is being led by agency Millions of Us, in partnership with virtual platform operators Sulake, Gaia Interactive, Metaplace, SceneCaster, Doppelganger, Vivaty and WeeWorld.”

5. PC Magazine – The Real-World Virtual Conference, Really. “Let’s begin by addressing the unavoidable irony of holding a Virtual Worlds conference in the real world. It’s not the most egregious of indiscretions, but I couldn’t help thinking about it while I was walking to the Jacob Javits Conventions Center in Manhattan.”

6. Online Media Daily – Virtual World Users To Marketers: It’s The Activities, Stupid. “Between six and eight million Americans will try at least one virtual world this year–the problem is that they think brands and marketers are too stupid to reach them. That’s according to panelists at the “Virtual Worlds By The Numbers: Today and The Future” panel at the Virtual Worlds 2008 conference in New York on Thursday.”

7. Fox Business – Multiverse Unveils 2D Flash Virtual World Technology. “The Multiverse Network, Inc., a leading provider of virtual world development technology for social worlds, Massively Multiplayer Online Games, educational worlds, and business collaboration spaces, today unveiled the ability for consumers to enter virtual worlds built atop the Multiverse Platform with either the company’s standard 3D World Browser or via Flash, embedded in a web page.”

8. ABC News (USA) – ‘Matrix’-Style Virtual Worlds ‘a Few Years Away’. “Are supercomputers on the verge of creating Matrix-style simulated realities? Michael McGuigan at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, thinks so. He says that virtual worlds realistic enough to be mistaken for the real thing are just a few years away.”

9. Mashable – Sponge Bob Gets A Virtual World. “Ever since virtual worlds reached a suggestive point of popularity, brands have been hoping to use them as marketing vehicles for reaching a wide range of people with a lot less money than their current advertising tactics. While Second Life didn’t become as large of a billboard as some had hoped it would be, it did help set the virtual world track onto one that would prove beneficial to brands in some form or another.”

10. Physorg.com – Should real profits in virtual worlds be taxed? ISU professors say there’s a way to do it. “In online virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft, some game players are making real money — in some cases thousands, even millions, of dollars. But neither the Internal Revenue Service nor game administrators have a process in place for players to report their profits upon cashing out, making these virtual worlds a tax haven for some.”

11. Avatar | Anima – Cultures of Virtual Worlds Conference. “I just got the schedule for the Cultures of Virtual Worlds conference on April 25-26. I’d been looking forward to this – the event maps perfectly onto my interests, and I’ll fly out the evening after my last assignment for the semester is due…Panels 1 and 2 are concurrent, and in different buildings, which is seriously annoying, but overall, I can’t wait for the topics and the presenters.”

12. Eightbar – Industry growth in Virtual Worlds. “The Virtual Worlds 2008 conference here in New York was significantly bigger in exhibitors and attendees from last years one at the same time of year. Last year theer were 2 small office rooms with about 10 exhibitors including IBM. This year the trade floor was somewhat bigger. This is a quick wander around just to help share some of the buzz and atmosphere.”

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