(Preface…not much blogging lately as i’ve been struggling with my spam issue for several months. At least i’m not alone with this particular problem but having to wade through instructions to harden WordPress and worry about the nasty emails i’ve received from Google are making me reconsider the amount of energy required to host a blog on my server vs a hosted provider. Spam is gone…for now…will see how things continue to develop before I make any drastic decisions…)
Been learning about virtual worlds and economies lately and thought i’d share some of the interesting links i’ve dug up:
- A presentation from the Future Play conference in Toronto. Dr. Constance Steinkuehler, assistant professor in the Educational Communication & Technology program for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, argues that MMOs and online worlds are good “push technologies” for education, rather than threats to it. A really nice talk (mp3), very down to earth and informative.
- Presentations from last year’s State of Play conference in Singapore. All talks are worth listening to but highlights for me included the talk on regulating virtual worlds, kids, education and virtual worlds and some great crosscultural insights in the connecting east and west panel. (loads very slowly at first…)
- Play Money by Julian Dibbell. Absolutely brilliant, fun, informative, somewhat of a compulsive read actually…a great introduction to the life of a gold farmer.
- Edward Castronova’s fascinating economic explorations of the MMOG phenomenon in Synthetic Worlds: The business and culture of online games
- Selected talks from Virtual Goods 2007. An overview of the conference plus commentary on the subject is available here from Om Malik along with a list of top ten MMOGs by active user or subscriber. (Update: The conference site seems to have gone down over the past few days but the talks are still available via Brightcove: Conference intro/Habbo/Nexon/Neopets, The value of digital goods, Making virtual economies work, Virtual items, mainstream or not/moderated by Robert Scoble, Business models. Well worth a listen. Not sure how long they will be online.)
- Brief article from the NY Times (free login required) about the rapid growth in virtual worlds for children.
- Some of the most creative Flash-based stuff i’ve seen in years is coming out of France including large games like Dofus, or smaller ones like Piou Pioux (chicks) and DinoParc. Bryan has also recently take a liking to Nexon‘s games–in particular KartRider!