The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

Note: Philip Rosedale stepping down from the CEO position at Linden Lab is a dominant story in the news at present, which we’ve covered here.

1. BBC News – Virtual world for virtually Irish. “The world likes to drown the shamrock at this time of year, and for the first time plastic paddies can really get in on the act. Tourism Ireland is hosting a virtual St Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday in the internet world of Second Life (SL).”

2. Al Bawaba – eGames Targets Tourism & Education. “With e-Learning on the rise, the search is still very much on for the most effective way of delivering online courses, and encouraging interaction between participants at a distance. Second Life (www.secondlife.com), is the newest, hottest thing in the online teaching world suggests David Wortley, Director, Serious Games Institute, Coventry University and presenter at Knowledge Oasis Muscat’s (KOM) annual eGames Conference (31 March – 1 April, Muscat Hall, KOM). Wortley will deliver two presentations at the eGames Conference that will consider the opportunities offered by Second Life to education, tourism, heritage and culture.”

3. The Daily Telegraph (UK) – Virtual vogue: Second Life wardrobes. “Who pays real money for unreal clothes? Enough people to make digital dressing-up big business. But is virtual fashion just another teenage craze or is it the end of clothes shopping as we know it?”

4. The Times Online (UK) – Has the internet killed jobs fairs? “THE recruitment fair seems to have gone the way of the dodo, the zeppelin and the space hopper. Its moment seems to have passed. Caroline Weeks, head of delivery recruitment at BT Global Services, rather misses the old recruitment fairs where companies used their collective power to lure candidates to meet them face-to-face.”

5. Science Daily – Real And Virtual Pendulums Swing As One In Mixed Reality State. “Using a virtual pendulum and its real-world counterpart, scientists at the University of Illinois have created the first mixed reality state in a physical system. Through bidirectional instantaneous coupling, each pendulum “sensed” the other, their motions became correlated, and the two began swinging as one.”

6. The Brown Daily Herald – Donahue ’11 cashes in as virtual arms dealer. “Before setting foot on Brown’s campus, Evan Donahue ’11 made thousands of dollars creating weapons to summon damned souls and create rifts in space-time fabric to suck in adversaries. The weapons systems were for the virtual world of Second Life, a popular online role-playing game. But the money – more than $20,000 – was very real.”

7. The Bangkok Post – Socializing goes big in 2008. “Enhanced collaboration and Web 2.0 tools, such as social networking, will continue to be integral components across Asian businesses in 2008, say industry analysts. Claus Mortensen, principal for emerging technology research, digital marketplace and new media at IDC, predicts that more companies in Asia will create and maintain corporate profiles on social network sites.”

8. The Huffington Post – All Politics is Virtual. “Will the next election season’s big caucus battle look like a videogame? Web strategist Michael Whitney recently revealed the contents of a Hilary Clinton campaign survey on the Huffington Post, and among the usual questions about political leanings and election contributions was this seemingly odd query: Which of the following have you visited or played online?”

9. Wired – AI-Based Virtual Child Plays in Second Life. “This is how it always begins in the movies. Some well-meaning scientist-geeks create an artificial intelligence, and set it loose to see how it learns and behaves. Next thing we know, he’s taken over the nuke launchers and threatens humanity unless someone brings him an ice cream cone. In this case, the AI was built at Rensselaer Polytechnic, and gets to play in the Second Life MMORPG.”

10. The Australian Financial Review (subscription only) – Aussies lose interest in Second Life. “Australian usage of much-hyped free virtual world Second Life has not returned to highs experienced in mid-2007, according to data released by the system’s US-based publisher Linden Lab.”

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