Can the Rise of Virtual Worlds Promote Social Reform in the Middle East?

Virtual worlds have proven applications in fields as diverse as business marketing, classroom education, and political campaigning. But what if Western governments rolled out the virtual welcome mat as a means of engaging Islamic governments and citizens in the Middle East?

Pixels and Policy looks at some emerging research and a bit of industry prognostication to see whether online games could revolutionize one of the world's hardest-to-reach populations.

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Pixels and Policy Article on Iran Featured in ‘Foreign Policy in Focus’

It's not often I get to see such instant gratification, so I'm going to make the most of it: this blog's first article, which analyzed the many ways Second Life enabled Iranian pro-democracy activists to protest long after the repressive Iranian Security Service put a crackdown on real-world demonstrations, is now featured on the Institute for Policy Studies' Foreign Policy in Focus think-tank!

Foreign Policy in Focus is a peer-reviewed online think-tank affiliated with the venerable Institute for Policy Studies, a think-tank that takes a wide view of the world's pressing foreign affairs conundrums. Having one of our pieces published with them is a great coup for us and a fantastic step to getting the serious study of virtual worlds accepted as a legitimate branch of foreign policy.

The battlegrounds and diplomacy arenas of the future will increasingly find their way online, and an understanding of the Metaverse will provide a great advantage to nations that take its study seriously.

So, thank you everyone for this first big victory!