Around the Virtual World

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

Crowdsourcing Company Introduces the ‘Game-ification’ of Dull Labor

Like other taskmaster companies before it, Microtask, a Finnish startup, is using a crowdsourcing model to distribute mind-numbing, repetitive work across a network of laborers — actually, volunteers for now. “Pure monetary compensation is a 20th-century concept,” Miettinen told The New York Times
last October. At the time, he envisioned the “game-ification” of dull clickwork, which could pay players with virtual currency or other rewards valued by gamer culture. It’s now a reality.

Zynga Thief Jailed for Two Years

An IT businessman has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to stealing around $12 million in online game currency.

Facebook to Develop Financial Systems, Payment Operations

Last December, Facebook filed incorporation documents with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, for a company called Facebook Payments Inc. The company has subsequently been registering Facebook Payments Inc. in various states.

Virtual Add-Ons Draw Real-World Lawsuits

As computer games create more and more “virtual worlds” online with their own rules and economies, developers who create add-ons, guides and real-world markets for game content are finding themselves at legal odds with game makers.Companies like Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of “World of Warcraft,” are turning to courts and copyright claims to stop those who would sell in-game objects and currency for real-world money, or those who make their own add-ons to exploit the game, legal experts say.

Augmented Reality Games Coming to a Device Near You

Augmented reality (AR) is quickly taking over gamification as the hottest new trend in entertainment marketing, with a number of new applications and games slated for release in the coming weeks and months.

The Latest Cereal Box Prize: Augmented Reality

Years ago, the best prize kids could hope for in their cereal box was a plastic toy, but an international promotion from Nestle for the film Rio, which uses augmented reality, opens up some new possibilities.

Mobile By The Numbers

Mobile is a rapidly developing sector. According to some projections, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage before 2015. In preparation, companies are developing new mobile commerce platforms, strategies, and marketing efforts.

Upcoming Events:

Socialize East

March 31-April 1, 2011

9:00am-5:00pm (both days)

The New Yorker Hotel, New York City

Jim Gatto will be speaking on March 31, from 11:30am-12:30pm about the following topic: “Small and Medium Social Games Developers – Strategies for Success”

Pillsbury is also a sponsor of the event and will have a booth on display during the conference. Please stop by!

Social media is changing the way we do everything – from the way we communicate,
interact with games and entertainment, to how we promote and market our businesses. The wave of always-connected consumers, location-aware mobile apps and services, and gaming platforms are making business and entertainment more social than ever. The big question is: how do you leverage social media to drive revenue?

Socialize unites business leaders in gaming, virtual goods, mobile, marketing, and media for two days of learning, connecting, and sharing about all things social.
Attendees come to Socialize for the real-world insight that our unique blend of industry heavyweights, business visionaries and results-oriented practitioners bring to the table.  Through two days of comprehensive learning, focused discussion and diverse perspectives, our experts show you how all the social media pieces fit together to create a unified business strategy. Whether your most pressing issues are strategic, tactical, or, more likely, a complex combination of both, you’ll benefit from the valuable guidance gleaned at Socialize.