Virtual Economies Remain Badly Flawed Research Tools

1229493866106_us_backyard1_997 There's been a lot of work done on virtual economics over the past few years, from Indiana University studies to the Virtual Economy Research Network.

These researchers all use virtual economies as a test-bed for real-world economic policies, as well as testing grounds for real-time experiments on price, economic growth, and wages.

They had best be cautious. As Pixels and Policy reports, virtual economies are far from the hailed research tools some virtual world cheerleaders think.

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Virtual World Growth is Slowing Down. That’s Not a Bad Thing.

Gold Like most creations in the fast-growing tech industry, virtual worlds have enjoyed stellar growth and profitability figures over the past few years. Some virtual economies have even doubled in size year-over-year, feeding hype that virtual technology may soon replace many aspects of our lives.

But as one magazine reports, profitability is slowing and growth figures are relaxing. Should this lead to disillusionment about virtual worlds?

Of course not – as Pixels and Policy reports, virtual worlds are just moving into the next phase of a successful transformation from techie novelty to everyday reality.

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Bringing Virtual Classrooms to Latin America’s Rural Villages

ClaseMovil


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.

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