How Tough Economic Times are Encouraging Virtual Workplaces

Leftimg The sputtering global economy could have a silver lining – companies looking to cut travel costs are turning to the virtual world for more business services than ever.

As CNN reports, companies are increasingly turning to telecommuting and virtual conferencing in graphical virtual worlds as a means of shaving costs and remaining competitive in an economy where credit is still tight and government life preservers are harder to come by.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at the exodus to the virtual business landscape.

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Why So Many Organizations Struggle for Success in Virtual Worlds

Palomar_002-712712One of the most interesting and
controversial discussions currently taking place amongst the virtual
world cognoscenti is also one of the most vexing for the companies and
government agencies hoping to capitalize on the growing communication
power of virtual worlds.

Despite the best efforts of
developers like Cisco, the Department of Energy and a mix of other
public and private organizations, many more corporate/government Second
Life installations fail than survive and thrive.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at why.

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LudoCraft Pilots Virtual World Aimed at Virtual Conventions

You may not have heard of LudoCraft, a small games designer responsible for the realXtend engine, but it wants to get to know you. In fact, it wants you to throw your next industry convention or cultural expo in its open-source virtual world.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at how one company is banking on an increase in virtual business conferencing in 2010.

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Companies Consider Virtual Employee Standards of Conduct

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Scantily-clad waitresses may move burgers and wings at Hooters, but companies like IBM are less than pleased to find employees involved in virtual worlds dressing in bondage gear and digital phalluses.

A recent press release from industry research firm Gartner, Inc. sheds some light on the obvious reasons why big business might not want its employees' virtual representations dancing around in a Department of Energy-themed ballgag:

As the use of virtual environments for business purposes grows, enterprises need to understand how employees are using avatars in ways that might affect the enterprise or the enterprise’s reputation

We covered the possible professional conflicts of real-world workers indulging in virtual fantasy last week. In light of the Gartner report, this controversial issue deserves a closer look.

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Want Virtual Worlds to Take Off? Simplify the Controls.

Controls

                        
Is that a Wiimote?


We just got finished reading a
well-researched and optimistic piece of Metaverse research by Shellie Karabell of the INSEAD Business School.

In his study, Karaball notes half a dozen reasons to be optimistic about the Metaverse over the next few years. But he also makes note of a major stumbling block to the wide adoption of virtual worlds without fully appreciating its importance:

For many curious potential users, logging in is easy. It's getting around that drives them away.

Continue reading Want Virtual Worlds to Take Off? Simplify the Controls.

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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Looking to Save Your Company Money? Move Business Online.

It's shocking that the cost savings of virtual conferencing and travel are so accepted in the mainstream media, but so few companies are going out of their way to streamline productivity.

A recent report from The Economic Times notes that, for all its proven value, companies still aren't jumping into digital workplaces and their cost-cutting capabilities.

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

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Second Life Enterprise Provides Huge Step Forward for Virtual Business

Secondlife_logo_qjpreviewth Linden Lab took a huge step forward in the growing market for virtual collaboration and business telecommuting with its announcement that companies could now purchase business-grade Second Life software.

Organizations as far-flung as IBM and the Navy are in on the new software, which also has an upscaled security and authentication process and the ability to protect sensitive company information, launches Linden Lab into all new forms of virtual interaction.

Pixels and Policy investigates what Second Life Enterprise means for the virtual business industry.

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Will In-Game Advertising Soon Visit the Virtual World?

Pep4 Large consumer brands are leaping into virtual worlds at a startling pace, according to a report recently published by marketing industry source Brand-E.

For those who play in a variety of browser and software online worlds, this shouldn't be too surprising. But its long-term effects certainly are.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at how tough economic times are driving developers to seek revenue anywhere they can, and why this might cause long-term damage to gaming's integrity.

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Virtual Edge Summit Looks at Business Side of Virtual Worlds

UnitrinSL Pixels and Policy has seen a lot of back-and-forth about the proper role of businesses in the virtual world over the past few weeks.

One thing is certain, however: Like it or not, businesses are keen to enter the Metaverse.

Now a major summit is looking at the hows and whys of business interaction in the virtual world – what will it take to integrate business effectively into spheres of play, and what will happen when companies become a regular part of the virtual scenery?

Pixels and Policy takes a look at what we can expect from the virtual business world.

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