Death in the Metaverse: Mapping Uncharted Social and Legal Territory

Pixels and Policy normally approaches the interplay between virtual worlds and some aspect of business, culture, policy or politics. However, there is one issue that transcends these areas not because of its easy definition, but because it is such a hazy concept.

Can the virtual world change the way humans deal with death? And what happens to our virtual goods when our earthly bodies pass?

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How the Intelligence Community Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Virtual Worlds

DNI-seal_small Social media and virtual worlds have nabbed headlines as potential game-changers in every field from business to political discourse, and most of that praise is well-deserved. But there is one community of experts consistently skeptical of the utility of virtual worlds.

Can recent improvements in the privacy and information security of virtual worlds win over the government intelligence community? According to some recent reporting by The Economist and Security Director News, even covert agents are warming to the potential communication power of firewalled worlds.

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Why Do People Pay Real Cash for Virtual Items?

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Here's a question many researchers have stumbled over at one point or another in their careers as pioneering virtual world analysts: Why do people pay real money for virtual items?

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

Digital Growth, Real Revenue

The virtual economy is certainly more than an aberration, and with Second Life bringing in nearly $500 million a year in virtual sales alone, the virtual economy may even be doing better than the real economy!

A new report published in the Virtual Economy Research Network argues that Second Life and other virtual worlds have such healthy real-to-virtual economies because of one main factor: social pressure.

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Social Media Brief: Hospitals Turn to Social Networking for Patient Education

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Our post this morning about how hospitals are using Second Life as a tool for educating nurses received some of the best response we've ever had.

An eagle-eyed reader also referred us to a great, forward-looking article by Fresh Influence detailing how hospitals are taking the lead in using social media for the public good.

Read on to find out how hospitals are advancing the cause of patient health through social media.

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