Around the Virtual World

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


Social network ad revenue to hit $10B

Non-U.S. markets would account for slightly more than half, or 51.9 percent, of the US$10 billion global ad revenue in 2013, the research firm said in report Wednesday. While revenue growth would be in the double digits in the United States, higher growth elsewhere meant that spending in non-U.S. markets would account for a slighter greater share each subsequent year, it explained.

Steve Jobs: Accidental video games visionary

Sure, Jobs had some history in the space. He took a job at Atari as a technician in the mid-’70s, but this was because he was looking for money to fund a spiritual retreat to India. Later,
with the release of the Apple II in 1977 he helped usher in a golden age of video games by providing a platform for the explosion of creativity that came in the early ’80s: Bubble Bobble, Beach Head, Boulder Dash, Choplifter, F-15 Strike Eagle, Hacker, Hardball!, Karateka, King’s Quest, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Leisure Suit Larry, Lode Runner, Might & Magic, The Oregon Trail,
Raid Over Moscow, Skyfox, Ultima, Wizardry, Zork. So many games that so many of us remember fondly, and all of them made possible because of the Apple II and Jobs.

Supreme Court Dodges Video Game Fee Request

In a surprisingly precarious move, the U.S. Supreme Court took no action Monday on a request from the video game industry for 1.4 million dollars in attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred fighting the unconstitutional violent video game ban law, originally passed in California. 

How will Facebook’s newest changes affect gamification?

If you’re at all interested in the world of social and casual games, and the gamification of social media, the stream of major and minor changes from Facebook over the past week or so has got to be top of mind. Besides the major F8 developer conference,
which introduced Timeline and an updated version of Open Graph, we’ve also seen the introduction of Facebook subscriptions and an updated news feed in the past few weeks.

What the iPhone 4S Means for Mobile Gaming

Some of the best news is that the iPhone 4S is getting a power upgrade. The 4S is getting a dual-core 1GHz A5 processor with dual-core graphics. That means the 4S have comparable graphics to the iPad 2. Games are almost guaranteed to run smoother and faster on the new 4S, since it will be about 7 times faster than the old iPhone 4. However, gamers might not be able to enjoy the increased details due to the tiny screen size which stayed at 3.5″.

Augmented Reality Meets Location-based Social Networking

A new app in this field is TagWhat. Part augmented reality-app and part social networking service, it lets people check and view locations along with additional random info like the place’s history, the famous people who lived in it, anecdotes about the neighboring establishments, or any other information that can either be trivial, interesting, or extremely useful.