Art and Exploration, Business in Virtual Worlds, Collaboration, Identity and Expression, Second Life, Virtual World Platforms

Virtual Worlds and the State of the Union: Metanomics Report

So during our intermission (which means me being on the road again) a bit of promotion. Well, not promotion but useful links to things of deep interest to you, dear reader.

We have a report out today highlighting the past season on Metanomics. It acts as a bit of a “State of the Union” on virtual worlds. The report extrapolates from the guests on the “fall season” and highlights the following:

Virtual worlds are achieving much wider adoption
“Virtual worlds to date, in particular for enterprise, have been a testing ground, with significant prototyping and exploration. Consumer adoption of virtual worlds, once restricted to game environments like World of Warcraft, has increasingly been reaching a mass scale, particularly among younger audiences and as components of social media (e.g., Facebook).

In recent times we have seen a major shift in adoption rates and a widening variety of uses. Large-scale growth has occurred in the virtual goods industry, with one estimate by Virtual Worlds Market predicting a value of $15 billion by 2015. There is a wider field of application providers and hardware platforms than ever before and in the business models that link these activities to the real-world metric of profitability.”

The Nature of Our Lives is Evolving Because of Our Lives Online (Duh! But seriously…)
“Virtual worlds play an important part in the wider growth of on-line communities and the changing nature of work. The digital world/Web 2.0 is the far broader context within which virtual worlds exist.

This points to opportunities that overlap and support each other – the integration of virtual worlds with social media and enterprise systems and the integrated strategic approach of the forward-looking enterprise will be a key continuing trend in the years to come. ”

Policy Issues Are Deep
“Virtual worlds provide a clear example of the policy issues ahead, which are part of the broader governance frameworks for life on-line. Challenges for government regulation, the impact on our sense of self, issues related to identity, privacy, and safety continue to be puzzling and important challenges of our times.”

Read the full report for quotes, case studies and analysis of the above topics.


So with another season of Metanomics under our belt, it’s time to kick off a new one. And I have to say the opening is a stunner, or I think so anyways. Robert Bloomfield interviews Douglas Rushkoff, correspondent and writer of Frontline’s Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier – a PBS documentary that explores how our lives have changed due to our digital world.

From the announcement (and such an appropriate topic considering my last post):

Can a love affair blossom in a virtual world? Are we seeing the end of attending a classroom in person? What happens when you wage war from thousands of miles away? As Digital Nation asks: “Is technology moving faster than we can adapt to it?”

The film is a collaboration with individuals who have participated in the Life, Inc., noted as one of the best business books of 2009. Life, Inc. takes aim at the flaws in the “operating system” of corporatism which reaches into all aspects of our economic and personal lives.

Rushkoff argues for more direct interactions between people, unmediated by artificial corporate structures. Join us to hear about the role of virtual worlds and digital technology in the peer-to-peer relationships Rushkoff sees as the right way forward…

So mark your calendars: Wednesday, January 27 at 12 pm SLT/PST.

A trailer for Rushkoff’s show follows:


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