The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Wants You to Punish Your Kids for Gaming

It's rare we find reporting on virtual worlds that is so backwards as to be almost comical. We attribute the declining trend of online gaming fear to increasing exposure to and understanding of both virtual worlds and their players. Heck, some schools are even using them to teach.

Then there's the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and their intrepid writer Peter McKay. Not only does Mr. McKay think virtual worlds are the pathway to destruction for one and all, but he urges parents to take all measures to keep kids as far from online gaming as possible.

Pixels and Policy descends into the murk.

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Merry Virtual Christmas: $30 Million Spent on Virtual Items over Holidays

Virtual economies are the subject du jour for 2010, and the mainstream media is catching on. Could it be residual hype from the booming virtual goods market or something much more fundamental – a growing understanding that these worlds are more than mere games?

During a Christmas shopping season that disappointed most retailers, virtual goods sales had a banner year, moving tens of millions of dollars in digital loot and setting up for a solid 2010. Is the growth of the virtual goods market a long-term trend?

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

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Dubai Hosts Conference on Promoting Online Gaming in the Emirates

DubaiMap The Orc you partner with in Razorfen Kraul could soon be an Arab Prince.

Al Bawaba, a Middle Eastern news service, announced Dubai's plan to host a special conference with a focus on licensing online games through major companies in an effort to create a new generation of gamers in the Middle East.

Looks like the open range of the Metaverse may be getting a culture shock.

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The Guardian: With Virtual Worlds, Kids are Learning Even During Playtime

Nmc2 Pixels and Policy has been a consistent advocate of bringing virtual worlds and digital classrooms to the forefront of our education system.

Along with many other great websites, we've helped catalogue the forward-thinking colleges turning virtual literacy into degree programs and looked at the potential impact of virtual classrooms in poor Latin American communities.

Now Britain's Guardian newspaper has turned its international readership on to the growing trend of virtual worlds in education. Pixels and Policy takes a look at how virtual education is hitting the mainstream.

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Entropia Universe Sells Virtual Space Station for Record-Smashing $330,000

300px-Crystalp Earlier this week we wondered what 2010 might show for emerging and expanding virtual economies, especially those related to free-to-play (non-subscription) worlds like Second Life.

According to a recent report in the venerable Virtual Worlds News, the virtual economy is setting new records only a week into 2010 after a virtual region in Entropia Universe sold for over $330,000!

Pixels and Policy investigates.

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China Bans All Foreign Investment in its Virtual Worlds

Gold-farming-china-wow7go-530 This morning's policy report is a depressing follow-up to our recent story on how Brazil is aiming to join the ranks of major virtual world hubs.

China's General Administration of Press and Publication, the state's official video game regulatory body, announced today its intent to bar all foreign investment and partnership in Chinese virtual worlds and online games.

It appears Chinese gamers will be seeing Red for the forseeable future.

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Why Embeddable Virtual Worlds are the Future

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Graphics cards are declining in price, and increasing computer power means the landscape of the Metaverse looks more realistic than ever before.

So why are so many users migrating to graphically simple in-browser virtual worlds like Metaplace?

Pixels and Policy looks at why increasing graphical capability is no longer the biggest deal in online gaming.

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Virtual Tourists Show Little Interest in U.S. Government Sims

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        The DoE's island is impressive, but empty.

Until recently, the Department of Energy''s involvement in Second Life has been limited to
hosting a speaker through the University of Delaware's Second Life
lecture series,"Global Agenda." This attracted a few dozen avatars, some of whom even stayed through the entire speech.

Fascination with virtual worlds, especially Second Life, has led several government agencies to construct outreach and public education centers in the Metaverse.

Now, after several years of concerted development, these virtual temples to the Department of Energy and the NOAA sit mostly unused, victims of what one tourist calls "the big empty."

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Multiplayer Gaming: Bigger than Hollywood.

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Forget watching Iron Man and thinking you're superhero-with-attitude Tony Stark. Multiplayer video games allow you to be a Tony Stark-type character.

It's this interactivity and customizability, says Tom Chatfield

of The Guardian, that explains why multiplayer gaming has surpassed moviegoing as society's imaginative escape of choice.

Pixels and Policy investigates.

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Why Virtual Worlds Aren’t A “Global Phenomenon” Yet

The San Jose Mercury News recently ran a telling but misguided piece that described virtual worlds as a "global phenomenon." Despite being tech optimists, we at Pixels and Policy were skeptical.

If virtual worlds are really shaping global thinking and business to "phenomenon" levels, why have we seen so few major mixed-media deals, and virtually no company investment on a scale comparable to YouTube or Facebook? Pixels and Policy investigates.

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