Should Second Life Reduce Land Fees to Encourage Growth?

2424380718_699d8d6fc8 If recent information surrounding the land leasing rates of Blue Mars is accurate, Second Life may have a real competition on its hands.

That's because the Blue Mars land leasing system is rumored to be not only simpler to use, but cheaper than the Second Life tier system.

Starved for competition for so long, Second Life might not be able to compete with an upstart new virtual world unless it re-evaluates its business model and gets back into fighting shape.

Continue reading Should Second Life Reduce Land Fees to Encourage Growth?

Pixels and Policy Article on Racism in Second Life Invades the BBC

Imagine our surprise when we found out Pixels and Policy's article on racism in Second Life was set to be featured on the BBC's website! As you can imagine, we thought it was a joke at first.

However, the news is true. Pixels and Policy received a great write-up on the BBC's Magazine Monitor, alongside the likes of Michael Caine and a former Bosnian leader on the run from authorities. This goes a long way in proving what Pixels and Policy has said – virtual worlds are an area of growing importance in the world, and coverage of how players live in the Metaverse will draw an audience.

As the BBC said:

In virtual reality you create what you look like – your avatar – so are
given the opportunity to separate yourself from your age, race or
gender. Despite thisresearch from North Western University which suggests people are less likely to help someone if they have a black avatar.

We're not going to sit back and enjoy the appreciation, though. Pixels and Policy is currently conducting research on the role of gender in the virtual world, with a focus on how female avatars are perceived by others, and how the players of female avatars perceive themselves.

In the meantime, keep reading!

Virtual Edge Summit Looks at Business Side of Virtual Worlds

UnitrinSL Pixels and Policy has seen a lot of back-and-forth about the proper role of businesses in the virtual world over the past few weeks.

One thing is certain, however: Like it or not, businesses are keen to enter the Metaverse.

Now a major summit is looking at the hows and whys of business interaction in the virtual world – what will it take to integrate business effectively into spheres of play, and what will happen when companies become a regular part of the virtual scenery?

Pixels and Policy takes a look at what we can expect from the virtual business world.

Continue reading Virtual Edge Summit Looks at Business Side of Virtual Worlds

Bringing Virtual Classrooms to Latin America’s Rural Villages


ClaseMovil's narrowband education experience

Virtual worlds are considered a pleasure of the developed world. After all, they require broadband internet connections, powerful computers, and the luxury of free time.

One education company is working to change that by bringing stripped-down mobile classrooms to the rural backroads of Latin America. Their goal? Educate the masses and improve quality of life.

ClaseMovil hopes to be the first private company to bring virtual worlds to groups previously written off as too impoverished. According to an article in DigitalBeat, they just might have what it takes.

Continue reading Bringing Virtual Classrooms to Latin America’s Rural Villages

Check Us Out on The 1st Question, Live in SL at 7pm (SL Time) and on!

The 1st Question v8 300 Pixels and Policy will be joining Pooky Amsterdam and the team over at The 1st Question this evening at 7pm SL Time (Pacific). We hope you'll tune in!

The 1st Question is a fast-paced quiz show featuring some of the most interesting and offbeat personalities in Second Life, broadcast live in-world through

What makes The 1st Question so unique is its audience participation for prizes and publicity, and we look forward to participating.

You can find The 1st Question in-world at the following SLUrl, or check them out on or!

Join the studio audience:

Players May Soon Use One Avatar for Multiple Worlds


One of the major impediments to
widespread use of virtual worlds is standardization. I like to think of
the hundreds of virtual worlds out there as early Italy – a dozen
little empires going about their business more or less independently.

What the virtual world needs is unification, one avatar to rule them all.

As several sources have
been reporting, the desire for one unified avatar is growing, and
worlds interested in capturing e-commerce may find they have no choice.
The age of the persistent avatar may be closer than we think.

Continue reading Players May Soon Use One Avatar for Multiple Worlds

Dusan Writer on Pixels, Policy, and the Barbarians at the Gate

Today we have an excellent syndicated post from Dusan Writer, Editor of the information-rich Dusan Writer's Metaverse. A well-researched thinker and virtual worlds writer, Dusan has provided comments and critiques on Pixels and Policy articles in the past.

In Digital Barbarism, Mark Helprin lays down the gauntlet against the Creative Commons, open source and machines:

"Very clearly, the choice is between preeminence of the industrial or of the collective, of improvisation or routine, of the soul or of the machine. It is a choice that you have perhaps already made, without knowing it.

Or perhaps it has been made for you. But it is always possible to opt in or out, because your affirmations are your own, the court of judgment your mind and heart. These are free, and you are the sovereign. Choose."

Now, Mark sets up his argument as a battle – one in which the lone artist must rail against the gathering forces of darkness, the code kiddies at the gates, the collective enslavement to the power of technology, and how the digital age is upending traditional notions of property and creation.

Continue reading Dusan Writer on Pixels, Policy, and the Barbarians at the Gate

The Curious Case of Racism in Second Life

Erika_in_midnight_skin The standard techno-optimist argument in favor of expanding the Metaverse goes something like this:

Virtual worlds hold the promise of commuication without regard for distance, physical ability, gender, or race. Every aspect of the avatar is flexible, rendering prejudice obsolete.

It appears such wishful thinking might be snagged on the heated issue of race. Pixels and Policy reports on a little-noticed study that says our racial biases are carrying over into the Metaverse.

Continue reading The Curious Case of Racism in Second Life

Guest Post: Second Life Launches Disaster Preparedness Sims

Today's post is a guest piece by Sandy Demina. Sandy covers music and culture issues in Second Life on her blog, and follows issues related to public organization in the virtual world.


Second Life residents are increasingly involved both in
promoting art and music in the broadest sense and in launching social and
educational projects.

Public awareness is essential in disaster situations: From Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the Abruzzo
earthquake, so many catastrophes
afflicted the populations around the world over the past years. Now Second Life is getting involved.

Continue reading Guest Post: Second Life Launches Disaster Preparedness Sims

Industry Increasingly Doubtful Over Second Life’s Sustainability

Beatlefest_Blarney_10-09-2006_1077x808pxBashing Second Life is a time honored tradition, but a recent piece critiquing the world's long-term potential may be the most compelling.

Michael Hickins, a writer for InformationWeek, combines the concerns of various media outlets and virtual world skeptics into a readable and disconcerting piece on the potentially grim future of Second Life.

Then again, skeptics have been calling Second Life's death for years. Pixels and Policy investigates whether Hickins has the proof behind his predictions.

Continue reading Industry Increasingly Doubtful Over Second Life’s Sustainability