For the nearly 3 million people who call Chicago home, speeding ambulances and quick-thinking paramedics are nothing new.
But the next paramedic that receives an emergency call may be one of a special group: those that received crisis response training through Second Life.
Pixels and Policy takes a look at how one Chicago hospital is turning to cost-effective virtual environments to keep first responders at the peak of their skills.
Continue reading Virtual Paramedic Training Saves Real Lives
No traffic even at the best of times.
Political campaigns are latching on to the virtual world as the latest means of squeezing every last percentage point in close races.
What remains to be seen is whether informed avatars are making a difference.
Pixels and Policy looks at why political optimism about the use of Second Life and virtual worlds might be a bit premature.
Continue reading Politics in the Virtual World: Do Virtual Voters Care?
Millions of virtual worlds users around the world are used to buying things in-world.
Whether the purchase is a sword or a snowboard, virtual worlds have successfully integrated markets into gameplay.
Now one company wants to see if virtual consumers will show the same willingness to spend real money shopping in virtual mock-ups of real cities.
Pixels and Policy looks at how a new project plans to redraw the boundaries of virtual shopping. But is it what consumers are looking for?
Continue reading Is Virtual Shopping the Right Fit for Connected Consumers?
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!