Future Breakthroughs in the Virtual Worlds

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Social Technologies newsletter, ChangeWaves, offers insight into the future of online virtual worlds

The latest issue of Social Technologies' newsletter, Change)Waves, features 16 pages on the topic of Virtual Worlds--termed "World 0" by the futurist research and consulting firm--which include online destinations such as Second Life, the World of Warcraft, Club Penguin, and Entropia Universe.

The cover story, written by futurist Matt Sollenberger, explains that tens of millions of people regularly enter the online worlds of Second Life and Habbo Hotel--and not just to attack mythical dragons.

"Although the first virtual worlds were games created in the late 1970s--text-based Internet realms where hundreds of thousands of users waged epic Dungeons-and-Dragons-style battles, estimates put the number of regular users who now enter the virtual world at as high as 60 million," Sollenberger says. "As new and varied World 0 environments emerge, people are increasingly flocking there to make friends, hang out, and earn a living--as well as to play games."

Sollenberger goes on to explain what's special about World 0, and provide insight into three developments that could significantly expand consumers' use and quality of experience in virtual worlds: advances in next-generation interfaces, virtual worlds going viral, and the Internet's big players going virtual.

What's all the hype about?

"We believe there is great potential in the future of World 0, and that what happens in the virtual world is going to have an increasing impact on the 'real world,'" explains Chris Carbone, Social Technologies' executive editor of Change)Waves.

"That is why we've dedicated an entire issue of our newsletter to this topic. Admittedly, there are more people who don't know about the virtual world than do, but our futurists and analysts believe that will change. Our goal is to keep our readers abreast of these kinds of important trends."

Additional articles in the newsletter include information on:

  •     Virtual worlds @ work. As more companies crack the code on how to effectively interact with consumers in virtual worlds, businesses are starting to use virtual worlds for their own internal activities--more than for marketing.
  •     Imports from World 0. Clothing, cars, and jewelry are just some of the items that have been, or have the potential to be, exported from virtual worlds to the real world.
  •     My Second Life. Learn why five professionals have flocked to virtual worlds, including Kelly Trent, associate marketing manager at Wiley Publishing, and Randal Moss, director of the American Cancer Society's Futuring and Innovation Center.
  •     How we got here. Learn about developments over the last 25 years that have helped pave the way for today's virtual worlds.
  •     Brave new world. An interview with author and blogger Wagner James Au.
  •     Making money in the metaverse. An interview with Daniel Terdiman, author of An Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life.
  •     Do you speak World 0? The virtual world comes with its own language, so we've defined a few basic terms.

Learn more

For more information about World 0, contact Chris Carbone, executive editor of Change)Waves, at chris.carbone@socialtechnologies.com. To download the entire issue, log onto http://www.socialtechnologies.com/changewaves.

About ) Social Technologies
Social Technologies is a global research and consulting firm specializing in the integration of foresight, strategy, and innovation. With offices in Washington DC, London, and Shanghai, Social Technologies serves the world's leading companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. For more information visit http://www.socialtechnologies.com, the blog: http://changewaves.socialtechnologies.com, and our newsletter: http://www.socialtechnologies.com/changewaves.

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