Welcome to the Virtual Worlds News Wrap-Up for the week of August 14, 2010. The Wrap-Up is where VWN spotlights stories that we didn't get to cover individually, but still make for interesting reading about the virtual worlds industry.
- High Engagement Means More Virtual Goods Sales For Meez, ComScore's Most Engaging Virtual World: Meez draws the best engagement rates of any virtual world according to ComScore, which CEO John Cahill says translated directly into power users spending lots of money on virtual goods to enhance their status within the community.
- In The Driver's Seat Of 'Cars' Online Community: The Los Angeles Times's Company Town profiles Disney Product Director Rachel DiPaola, who oversaw development of the newly launched World of Cars Online virtual world. She describes adapting the look of Pixar's original film, which featured high-quality 3D animation, to a simple browser-based engine as one of the project's greatest development challenges.
- No, Chris Pirillo, Gambling And Porn Didn't "Overrun" Second Life (But Uninformed Analysis Did): The Social Times objects to the stereotype that Second Life's growth was damaged by pornographic and gambling content, pointing out that even now only 18% of Second Life's content is flagged mature and that gambling was banned shortly before Second Life's growth hit a plateau in 2008.
- Why Virtual Worlds Suck For Business– And Some Solutions: Hypergrid Business discusses the need for Second Life and other virtual worlds, even enterprise worlds, to incorporate more game-like mechanics like achievements to drive engagements. The piece also tackles the problem of 3D virtual worlds frequently having poor or clunky user interfaces, which can make simply moving around a world difficulty. The piece suggests some ways of making enterprise virtual worlds feel more immersive, such as preparing customized avatars that resemble their users and trying to animate avatar behaviors in a virtual world more naturally.
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