Around the Virtual World

A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

6 Reasons Why Social Games Are the Next Advertising Frontier

Ad spending on social gaming increased 60% since 2009, according to eMarketer. No doubt advertisers have noticed that 56 million Americans are playing social games and that the branded virtual goods market is booming. But more than just social gaming’s growing popularity has gotten attention from advertisers. Social games also represent an environment that is largely conducive to advertising.

Singer Files $250-Million Lawsuite Over Video Game

A backup singer with the Cypress Hill rap group has hit the makers of the “Grand Theft Auto” video game series with a 250-million-dollar lawsuit. According to documents obtained by Courthouse News, Michael “Shagg” Washington claims a friend introduced him to the developers of “Grand Theft Auto” in 2003, who asked him about his life on the streets.

Renren, China’s Social Network Giant Gears up for IPO

Renren, China’s largest social networking site is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States in the first half of 2011, the Reuter reported. Oak Pacific Interactive, Renren’s parent company had hired Credit Suisse and Deutsche bank to underwrite the IPO.

How to Price Your Virtual Currency

One of the key early decisions to game design or creating a virtual currency platform is designing the price and exchange rate of virtual currency. Unfortunately after it’s been released, it’s also one of the most difficult to change, because the change impacts the userbase and economy of the system as a whole. So if you’re starting out, how do you decide how to price your virtual currency?

Winklevoss Twins Launce Another Lawsuit Against Facebook

Even though the first lawsuit ended with a $65 million settlement, the Winklevosses now claim that Zuckerberg lied to them about the value of Facebook and is guilty of securities fraud, demanding an unspecified amount of (extra) money.

Legal ‘like’: Ohio judges can friend via Facebook

The Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday that judges on Facebook can be a “friend” to lawyers appearing before them but must be careful not to violate ethics rules. The opinion issued by the court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline says that following its guidelines for social networking “will require a judge’s constant vigil.”

First Screenshot of Google’s Social Network, Google +1, Leaks

Google’s ultra-secret social project is slowly becoming less and less secret. Last week, a Quora posting revealed a new internal codename for the social initiative, as well as the affirmation that it’s being tested. Yesterday, TechCrunch got its hands on a screenshot exposing a “share” button and also reaffirmed a possible new name, Google +1.