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Advertising standards for kids in virtual worlds?


According to an article in Virtual Worlds News the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has decided that advertisements aimed at kids within VWs are allowed as long as it happens on “sponsored land or sponsored activities”, meaning that ads in public spaces such as clubs or hangouts are restricted.

Quite an interesting viewpoint, given that most of the VW’s for kids are entirely sponsored at this point. How do you define a public space in a branded world such as Barbie Girls (owned by moloch Mattel), where everything is branded? Or other VW’s that contain sponsored clubs or hangouts (Dutch bank Postbank opened a lounge in Habbo Hotel, actualy aimed at teachin kids how to earn, save and deal with money - its education combined with commerce!). Now lets not forget these VW’s are platforms, channels and thus why not forbid commercials aimed at kids on television or banners on kids websites?

Its a dubious distinction.

Virtual worlds safer for kids then the web itself


Dutch researcher Robert Langeweg just finished his study on ‘Threedimensional virtual worlds” for the University of Utrecht. For this he researched in what way virtual worlds like Habbo Hotel and Teen Second Life can be a safe learning environment for children.

His research showed that using practise in virtual environments (under guidance of a teacher) is a very good way of preparing them for safe Internet use. “It is important that kids learn to recognize unsafe or unpleasant situations in this way”, according to Langeweg. (more…)

Philip Rosedale (Linden Lab) on open source



On OSCON2007 (O’Reilly Media Open Source Convention, July 27 2007) Philip Rosedale (CEO of Linden Lab) gave a presentation about Second Life and open source.

A very interesting presentation, making very clear that Linden Lab is clearly aiming at open sourcing Second Life completely. As he states, this is the only way to maintain scalability, growth and a leading market position.

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