Around the Virtual World

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


Bambuser Powers World’s First 24-Hour Virtual Tour of New York City

Starting and finishing in Times Square on Tuesday, 1st
November at 9am EDT, Hans Eriksson – executive chairman of the live mobile streaming application Bambuser will spend 24 hours exploring New York, broadcasting all he encounters live onto the web from his iPhone – with his itinerary selected by his online audience.

Square Enix, DeNA Team Up For Japanese Final Fantasy Social Game

Square Enix and Japanese mobile social gaming company DeNA are teaming up to create the first social game based on the popular Final Fantasy series. Few details have been announced regarding the Mobage title, which is based around the theme of “fighting for teammates,” but DeNA said it will be developing the game in-house using familiar characters from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series.

Bunchball Wants to be the ‘Motivation Engine for the Internet’

Who would have thought that a company located just above an Irish pub in San Jose would grow to be so successful? According to Bunchball‘s Founder and Chief Product Officer, Rajat Paharia, Bunchball originally had roots in “social gaming”, a concept that he admits was a bit too early to market and proved very difficult as a pitching point.

Nirav Tolia launches Nextdoor,
private social network for neighbors

“Even though social networks are completely ubiquitous, I didn’t see a social network for one of the most important communities in our lives: the neighborhood,” Tolia said in an interview this week. Tolia says neighbors have lost touch with each other. He points to a 2010 study from the Pew Research Center that found that 60% of Americans didn’t know the people who lived near them.

Video games for sweepstakes argued before NC court

The state is seeking to preserve a law that attempts to rid North Carolina of sweepstakes that use video-style games to reveal winnings but that companies say infringes on free speech rights and should be thrown out.

The Top 10 Most Influential People in Facebook and Social Games

In an attempt at fairness, we took to AppData’s developer leaderboard, but also peppered the list with industry transplants of note. We’re certain we’ve glossed over some video game veterans, but did you really want a list of 30 people? So, feel free to give us your two cents in the comments. (We’ve put on our flame-retardant suits already.) Here are the top 10 most influential people in Facebook and social games…