Around the Virtual World

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


Sony Settles With Alleged PlayStation 3 Hacker

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC said Monday it had resolved its breach of contract and copyright infringement suit against alleged PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz, ending a brief but contentious battle in California.

Virtual Real Estate Selling for Millions

Real estate records come and go with startling frequency and this $US6 million (NZ$7.65 million) sale might not sound like much of a record, until you find out Planet Calypso is a fictional place on the Entropia Universe social gaming site.

Could Virtual Currency Become King in Developing Countries?

Hot on the heals of my post (Brendan Burge) about a virtual currency called BitCoin, I have uncovered another rather surprising new paradigm. It would seem that increasingly people in Third World countries – what I prefer to call developing countries – are making a living by performing “micro-tasks” in the virtual economy.

PCS Holds World’s First International Virtual Easter Egg Hunt

“When we say ‘Easter eggs,’ we mean just that,” says John Barnhart, lead developer at PCS. “The term ‘Easter egg’ has come to mean an intentional hidden message in a computer program. Well, these Easter eggs really are Easter eggs! You know, those boiled chicken ova decorated with food coloring that children hunt for in hopes of scoring some chocolate.”

Gamification: CIOs Told to Get On Board

Gamification, the process of applying gaming techniques to the workplace, is set to become a mainstream approach in large organisations, according to analyst firm Gartner.

“Digital Goods” Fraud is Big

The Wall Street Journal
reports that digital items within games and social networks accounted for $2.2 billion in sales in 2009, and are expected to account for $6 billion in sales by 2013. Billions more are spent on music and other downloadable digital media.

Baidu Signs with Facebook to Establish a New Social Networking Site

This week, tech and financial blogs were buzzing with the purported Baidu-Facebook deal, announced by Chinese web portal

By 2015, Over 50% of Organizations Will Gamify Innovation Processes

By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook,
eBay or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

GoldRun Leverages Augmented Reality for Mobile Marketing

Vivian Rosenthal once wrote an architecture masters thesis on the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds. Now, the New York entrepreneur is mining that intersection for profit with a start-up that’s getting attention for the way it uses augmented reality to create marketing campaigns that end in real-world rewards.