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VWC Viewpoints September 2007

Moving Virtual Worlds Into Mainstream Markets
Technology Analyst: Rob Edmonds

Areas to monitor in the Technology Map discusses virtual social worlds and massively multiplayer online games in a variety of contexts.  Despite the media attention that surrounds virtual worlds, regular users, especially outside massively multiplayer online games, are rare.  This Viewpoints discusses the issues in moving virtual worlds beyond their current early stage of adoption into more mainstream markets.

Cisco's Christian Renaud (chief architect of Networked Virtual Environments) is not overly concerned about today's virtualworlds market.  In a recent conversation with me, he described Second Life's growing population as a "rounding error" in comparison with a typical mainstream market.  Renaud's key concern, also in his keynote address at the recent Serious Virtual Worlds conference in Coventry, England, is how to bring a mainstream business and consumer audience to virtual worlds.  Attending Serious Virtual Worlds certainly highlighed the faxt that although a very active, innovative group of people is surging forward with virtual worlds, the vast majority of people and companies remain in the dark about how to use virtual worlds, what purposes they serve, and who participates in them  So what is necessary to bring virtual worlds into the mainstream?

Download the report her:
Moving Virtual Worlds into Mainstream Markets