Around the Virtual World

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


Gaming is a top priority for mobile-tech makers

“Gaming is now a ‘need to have’ category, not a ‘nice to have’ category for mobile devices, whether they be tablets or phones,” said PJ McNealy, videogame analyst at Digital World Research. “The days of a single-function mobile device are long gone.”

PixyKids raises $3M for a social media platform just for kids

PixyKids has raised $3 million to develop its social platform for kids ages six to 12. It is built on the idea that kids want to socialize, even though they’re too young for Facebook. Kids can join PixyKids under their parents’ supervision and can share experiences and pictures the way that adults do on Facebook. The company is betting that social networks, not virtual worlds or education sites, will resonate most with kids.

FanCake Debuts as First Live Social Gaming Experience for Sports Watching

Kwarter, a mobile application factory building apps that lie at the intersection of the social, mobile and TV spaces,
announced today the launch of its first app, FanCake. FanCake turns live televised sporting events into interactive and social games, connecting millions of sports fans, teams, broadcasters, brands and athletes to enhance the game watching experience.

LVFH Launches Real Vegas Casino on Facebook

Las Vegas From Entertainment Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its social casino product, Real Vegas Casino,
on Facebook to the general public. It is expected LVFH will launch more games under the Real Vegas Casino brand shortly, coinciding with a specialized marketing campaign.

 French City Implements Virtual Currency to Avoid Financial Ruin

The French city of Nantes has plans to introduce its own virtual currency as a complement to the euro. By 2013,
participating local businesses will be able to pay, or be paid in virtual currency units called “Nanto.”

Olympic stars brought to life in world’s first ‘augmented reality hotel’

From today, guests at the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum will be able to use their smartphones or tablets to see athletes in virtual action in the reception, corridors and bedrooms. When the devices are pointed at specific sites in the hotel, the athletes will appear on the screen. BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be seen performing tricks on her bike in the lobby, while Paralympic table tennis world number one Will Bayley hits table tennis balls behind reception.  Meanwhile, UK long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson can be seen to jump in a corridor. And leading windsurfer Dempsey will – somewhat bizarrely – do his thing in the hotel’s bedrooms using a bed sheet.