The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. Globe and Mail (Canada) – You’ve got the whole world in your hands. “Best to get the hyperbole out of the way early: Spore, the new computer game from Sims creator Will Wright, rolls the past, present and future of interactive entertainment – not to mention life as we know it – into an absorbing ball of fun and big ideas. No matter what you think of video games, it is something everyone, young and old, should see and experience.”

2. Market Watch (USA) – Motorhead Frontman Lemmy to Launch Own Private Army Inside Virtual World Entropia Universe. “Mindark, developer and operator of Virtual World Entropia Universe, and rock icon Lemmy from Motoerhead, today announced a partnership in which Lemmy and his band will team up with Mindark to create Motoerhead Stadium and Lemmy’s Castle within Entropia Universe. The Stadium and Castle are being built utilizing the award-winning CryENGINE(R)2 graphics engine. This will be the virtual universe’s first major virtual rock arena and castle that will enable fans to hear exclusive music as well as battle Lemmy’s Guardians in hopes of joining his private Virtual Army. ”

3. Science Daily (USA) – Real-world Behavior And Biases Show Up In Virtual World. “Americans are spending increasing amounts of time hanging around virtual worlds in the forms of cartoon-like avatars that change appearances according to users’ wills, fly through floating cities in the clouds and teleport instantly to glowing crystal canyons and starlit desert landscapes. Simply fun and games divorced from reality, right?
Not necessarily so, say two social psychologists from Northwestern University who conducted the first experimental field studies in the virtual world.”

4. Kotaku (USA) – Future Trends for Virtual Worlds. “he Virtual Worlds Expo took place last week in Los Angeles, and there’s been bits and pieces of news from the event floating around — the wrap ups of roundtables and panels are the most interesting. Over at Free To Play, they have put together five big trends in virtual worlds, ranging from ‘the war on geekiness’ (oh, ouch) to one I’m most interested in, the movement from virtual world to real world instead of the other way around.”

5. Market Watch (USA) – Forterra Systems Named Winner of “Innovation in Virtual Worlds for Enterprise” Award. “Forterra Systems, the market and technology leader in enterprise virtual worlds, announced today that it was awarded the prestigious Innovation in Virtual Worlds for Enterprises award at the Virtual World Expo held September 3rd and 4th in Los Angeles. These awards recognize the significant achievements in innovation to companies in five categories: Consumer, Enterprise, Youth, Pioneer, and Overall Innovation.”

6. CNN (USA) – Virtual September 11 memorials bring back memories, emotions. “People around the world who are unable to visit Ground Zero and pay their respects to September 11 victims can still find solace in contacting others through the technological wonders of their home computers. Especially if they’re willing to venture into a virtual world. A series of September 11 memorial events in Second Life, a virtual world run over the Internet, were created to give visitors the ability to connect with others scattered around the country and world.”

7. CNET (USA) – Multiverse touts extensible virtual-world effort. “The Multiverse Network, a developer of virtual world platform software, announced Wednesday that it was unveiling what it calls Places, two related social elements that tie Multiverse users together. Essentially connective tissue for users of the Multiverse platform, Places has two separate components. The first is a social networks application that automatically connects people using Multiverse virtual worlds together with others who are also friends in social networks like Facebook.”

8. Los Angeles Times (USA) – Six Degrees Games hopes to become a heavy hitter in the virtual world. “Virtual worlds, once a niche market within the video game industry, are heading to the big leagues. Six Degrees Games Inc., a Marina del Rey company, is planning this fall to launch a sports-based virtual world for kids called ActionAllStars.com. Members will be able to create avatars, chat with buddies as well as collect virtual trophies for competing in games based on baseball, basketball and extreme sports.”

9. IT Business (Canada) – Using the virtual world of Second Life to snag young IT talent. “The competition sure is fierce when it comes to landing good young talent these days. Organizations are standing shoulder to shoulder around the global talent pool, trying to hook their share of Gen X and Gen Y keepers. But despite their youth, these new recruits are as wary and tight-lipped as a wily old bass. If you don’t find just the right way to attract them, they won’t give you a nibble.”

10. NT News (Australia) – Telstra plasters Uluru in Second Life. “It has long been the subject of great controversy and debate in the real world, but now the Territory’s most famous landmark is at the centre of a virtual storm. Telstra is under fire after it posted billboards advertising its BigPond internet service in front of Uluru in the online virtual world, Second Life.”

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