Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reuter's Newswire and the Issues it Raises

Now that I feel more comfortable moving around Second Life I decided to take a second look at the reuter's newswire to see if the articles I read a few weeks ago make more sense now. Reading about the new CEO of Linden Labs in the articles "Linden Lab picks online marketing executive as CEO" and "New Linden CEO could be named within weeks", made me realize just how involved people are in these industries. The man they named as CEO, Mark Kingdon, seems very well-respected in the business community and influential. My first reaction was to be skeptical, not really believing that a person can make any kind of living from virtual products.. and yet he is an example that you can, and that these industries are so complex that they need highly qualified individuals to run them. I also figured out the Linden currency. Apparently $1 USD is equal to about 267 L$, which makes the saleswoman's attempt to sell me 600 L$ boots much more reasonable. Along this same train of thought I found it incredibly interesting after reading the two articles about how Rosedale has to testify in front of Congress that the Linden has become such a controversial issue. I could see how it could be seen as threatening for a "society" to decide to use its own currency, but I fail to believe that the Linden is anything more complex than an interesting way for people to get your money.

Another interesting article I read, "At VW08, kids are the focus", discussed a cultural lag that has scared businesses from investing in Second Life. By this, he meant that even though people know about avatars, not a whole lot of people are jumping on the band wagon. This article also pointed out how a lot of what is happening in Second Life is focusing on kids below 18, which is just strange considering you have to be older than that to even join. They say that people enjoy playing games and interacting as somebody would at that age, yet to me it seems like a scam that I just can't quite figure out. What I did discover is that Nickelodean is trying to fill the void left by Second Life's age requirement by creating their own virtual world. The article "Nickelodeon explores virtual worlds including ‘SpongeBob’" stated that the children's channel made its announcement at the Virtual Worlds Conference that it believes it will outrace the competition by creating its own virtual playplace. Im, of course, skeptical about children spending time acting like children in front of a computer screen, but another side of me thinks that it would actually probably be really fun, and probably much less violet than most video games.

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