Guardian Lays Out Potential of Virtual Worlds

The Guardian had not a bad story the other day about the potential for virtual worlds, focusing mostly on business uses. In contrast to some other recent takes on this in the press, the Guardian story seems more balanced to me, acknowledging that things are still at an early stage, and also tipping their hat to a wider universe of worlds than only Second Life. The article also calls out one of my favorite subjects: the convergence of virtual worlds and Web 2.0, which is still at a nascent stage. Judging from who’s quoted there, the article seems to have been inspired in part by the upcoming Virtual Worlds Forum Europe (more on that here), which takes place October 23-26 in London. I’ve been hoping to make that, but it’s looking less and less likely. There’s an excellent roster of speakers that are going to be on hand, though, so if you’re in the area, go for it.


  1. Aleister Kronos

    I really must read my Guardian more attentively, as I missed this completely. D’OH! Normally articles like this would appear on a Thursday, when there is an IT supplement.

    For info… The Guardian is commonly (and affectionately) called The Grauniad, on account of the number of typos it used to have, in the days before fancy-pants computer typesetting.

  2. Mark Wallace

    Yeah, early on in the life of 3pointD I tried to write a post that called the Guardian “Grauniad” but I made an executive decision and forbade myself to do so, even though it used to be fun to refer to it as such with my Brit friends.

  3. JimmyJet Fossett

    Nice find. Unlike a few recent articles basically saying VW’s are yesterday’s news, at least for businesses, the writer thoughtfully conveys the need to look under the hood, and lays out the case for VW’s being an emerging, long haul undertaking.

    I did not really understand the comment “Second Life could lose its first mover advantage in the social networking space to upstart Facebook,” unless he means as a ‘flavor of the moment’ media and business/consumer darling. The two may be complimentary, but I think VW’s are different than Facebook, which is just really ‘the current’ better-organized (and trendy) social networking mashup medium. Perhaps a VW identity could be part of a Facebook type mashup, while conversely, Facebook could be part of a VW resident’s multi-layered mashup.

    As for typos, real men, women, and avatars don’t use spell/grammer checkers :-).

  4. Nick

    Thanks! I missed that article too, despite having a Guardian RSS feed. It’s nice to see a piece of ‘rational’ as opposed to ‘sensational’ journalism on this subject for a change.

    Anyone who is actually involved in virtual worlds knows that it’s still early days and that companies will begin to adopt vw strategies that are far more subtle and effective than buying an island and building a few nice prims then sitting back and waiting for the ‘engagement’ to roll in. Hopefully companies planning on building a vw presence will read this article.

  5. 88days

    Guess that nobody denies the potential of metaverse, what should be stressed is the cultural change involved in adding this way of communication to the usual ones, integrate it into everyday’s life.
    I trust that current “prices” and the value we do attach to any given good or experience was directly derived by the environment it was “living” in.. the logic may actually change, the value “customers” will tag to a metaverse experience is not anything experienced before to this extent.
    Quite clearly there will be numerous permutations of the leading VW as of today, some will survive and other will disappear or revamp into mashups most varied, would you like to start compiling a “metaverse evolutionary theory”?

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