The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. VentureBeat – Mind Candy joins the online virtual pets fray. “Virtual pets are a tried and true market for those targeting young kids. Mind Candy is joining the fray against larger rivals with a kids offering of its own this week: Moshi Monsters.”

2. Strategy Page – Virtual, Persistent Battlefields. “Computer games have been a major source of training technology for the armed forces. Not just in the United States, but all over the world. Most of these adaptations get little publicity, some are even classified as secret. But all simply take the visual and physical aspects of video games and use them to simulate real combat.”

3. Wired – Virtual World Funds Hip Replacement. “An Entropia Universe player recently covered the costs of a hip replacement surgery using cash he earned in-game, according to a press release issued by Entropia creators Mindark. 42-year-old Brad Welch, an avid fan of Entropia, used the cash he earned playing the game to fund the $10,000 dollar surgery that included replacement of his left hip and 42 stitches.”

4. PC World – The Virtual Office Gains Ground. “Virtual reality is making its move from gaming and social sites into the business world. Project Wonderland, developed by Sun Labs, already allows businesses to improve distance collaboration by building online replicas of their offices or classrooms where colleagues may use 3D representations of themselves to attend meetings, give presentations, and interact.”

5. PR Web – Fighting For Tibet In The Virtual World. “In the virtual world of Entropia Universe a fierce hunting competition between 32 teams takes on a special meaning for one team. Team Tibet is fighting not only for the prize and glory within the virtual world, but to bring attention to the plight of the Tibetan people in the real world.”

6. GigaOM – Apple Store To Go Virtual? “Apple Store To Go Virtual? That’s the theory of MacNN, at least, citing an Apple patent application published on the US government site last Thursday, somewhat obscurely entitled “Enhancing Online Shopping Atmosphere”.”

7. Wired – Second Life Slowly Turning into a Record Store. “Keiko Takamura has figured out a way to sell her music inside the Second Life virtual world. Using a rough approximation of an iPod that she calls the myPod, Takamura allows Second Life citizens to preview her music and buy songs in the MP3 format using Linden dollars. The transaction happens entirely within Second Life, but the customer walks away with an MP3 that can be played outside the game.”

8. Wall Street Journal – Disruptions on the Virtual Trail. “The presidential campaign has gotten nasty in the real world. It’s getting nasty in the virtual world, too. As Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama duke it out in the Democratic primary, unofficial campaigns are being waged by fervent supporters in Second Life, the virtual world run by Linden Lab.”

9. Massively – HiPiHi reopens beta. “Chinese virtual world HiPiHi has reopened registration for beta accounts. If you want to give this a spin, you will be pleased to know that you can now perform account registration in English.”

10. Yahoo Games – WoW, Inc. “Ten million players. However you look at it, that’s a lot. World of Warcraft not only dwarfs all other massively-multiplayer games, it dwarfs a good number of countries — not silly countries like Monaco and Greenland, either, but perfectly sensible ones. Like Sweden, say, or Israel. But how do the holdings of this legion of players compare to the corporate giants of the world?”

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