The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. The Industry Standard (Canada) – Virtual world advertising: A wasteful expense, or a bargain for marketers? “Are virtual worlds like Second Life and There.com about to feel a chill from advertisers? It depends who you talk with. This week, an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that marketers are cutting back on digital and “experimental” ad buys, including video game advertising, cell phone advertising, and virtual world advertising.”

2. Minneapolis Star Tribune (USA) – Game strives for Web success. “”I don’t think there’s any other field where you can find a failure rate this high and still find people willing to invest,” said Mark Jacobs, general manager of game studio EA Mythic. “The failure rate is unbelievable.” Jacobs was talking about his section of the video-game industry, the realm of online games where players pay a monthly fee to participate as characters in a virtual world. In the past 11 years, by his count, fewer than 10 titles have met some level of financial success. The number of expensive flops is a lot larger.”

3. nextgov (USA) – Web 2.0 technologies are seen as vital to attracting younger employees . “The federal government must adapt and embrace Web 2.0 technologies such as virtual worlds, wikis and social networks to attract and retain younger employees, because the technologies are here to stay, two federal knowledge management practitioners said in a presentation in Washington on Thursday. Comment on this article in The Forum.Speaking at a conference on knowledge management and business intelligence organized by the Digital Government Institute, Giora Hader, the Federal Aviation Administration’s knowledge architect, said agencies must embrace the world of social networking and collaborative technologies or risk losing out on a generation of new workers who are needed to fill gaps left by the upcoming wave of retirements.”

4. CNET (USA) – Hello Kitty gamers take on New York. “If your kids start to show serious signs of loving New York and you don’t know why, this might be the reason. Sanrio Digital, maker of the Hello Kitty Online 3D virtual world that’s currently in beta, announced Friday the game’s largest in-game event: the building of New York City. Players of the Hello Kitty Online Founders’ Beta can take part in a series of quests to collect and organize materials for the building of a new New York area that will appear in the next phase of the game–and will undoubtedly be far more pink than the real Big Apple.”

5. BBC News (UK) – The Cost of Warcraft. If you’ve got any bandwidth limit on your internet use, you may have bust through it this week, especially if you have a teenage son. Why? Well it could be the cost of war – or rather World of Warcraft.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on my bandwidth use at home because I keep breaking through my 25gb per month limit. When I signed up to my ISP I thought that would be ample, but then found that we were using as much as 1gb a day, which seemed a lot. Then on Wednesday this week we broke all records, with more than 2gb downloaded. I was away from home, my wife’s surfing habits are mostly limited to reading obscure economics blogs, so the spotlight fell on our teenage son, who spends a certain amount of time online in his room in the loft.”

6. Gamasutra (USA) – Ubisoft Opens Far Cry 2 Space In PlayStation Home. “Ubisoft’s just-launched Far Cry 2 “space” in PlayStation Home’s closed beta in North America and Europe is the first third-party game area to hit Sony’s PlayStation 3-based virtual world, the company says. The Far Cry 2 space in Home features details taken from the game universe and promises it “will become a fully-interactive experience” and “continue to grow and evolve alongside PlayStation Home.”

7. Express Computer (India) – Got your enterprise avatar? ” A Balasubramanian on why enterprises should experiment with virtual worlds, but look for community benefits rather than commerce. Returning, once again, to the hustle and bustle of the Techno Over-exposition of Geeks and Gizmos for Lazy Enterprises (TOGGLE), you Papyrus Bytewala, CIO of Baffle Corporation, are in the jaunty company of Danny DeVito, your CTO at Baffle.”

8. LA Times (USA) – PlayStation Home: Sony’s open house. “This fall, Sony will throw open the doors to PlayStation Home, an ambitious project to turn its online game network for PS3 console players into a lifelike 3-D virtual world where people can cruise around with their avatars. Sony has mentioned the project in past years, but had not released details. Last week, the company held an open house to give reporters an early tour. The software gives players the ability to create highly customized, realistic avatars. Each player also will be given a waterfront condo with a walk-in closet where they can try on various accessories purchased at Home’s virtual mall.”

9. SOA World (USA) – iTech Fitness and Softkinetic Collaborate on Groundbreaking Active Gaming Project for XRKade. “iTech Fitness, the industry leader in active gaming development, and Softkinetic, the leading 3D gesture recognition software provider, today announced a partnership to develop the future of active gaming experiences. For the first time ever, users can exercise in a virtual world by simply moving their bodies, without the use of any game controller or peripheral.”

10. Daily Yomiuri (Japan) – ‘Born-digital generation wants to share’ “If you haven’t yet digested the concept of massive, multiplayer online games, or MMOs, then watch out: James Crowley has announced the advent of what he calls MMO 2.0. And if you can’t guess what that means, you probably weren’t “born digital.” Crowley is the president of Turbine, Inc., which runs such MMOs as Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online. In an Oct. 10 speech at the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba, Crowley called MMOs the place where social networks, virtual worlds and conventional online games overlap. But he also said that MMOs would have to reinvent themselves to appeal to the new “born digital” generation.”

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  1. Thanks for sharing . really good info

    Best regards
    John
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