1. Gamasutra – GDC: Emotiv Knows What You’re Thinking. “On Thursday at the 2008 Game Developers Conference, Julian Wixson and a small panel of associates described and demonstrated the Emotiv headset and SDK, suggesting how a developer might incorporate the technology into a new or even quite finished production. The svelte Emotiv headset uses an array of sixteen EEG sensors to detect electrical impulses in the scalp. These signals are then interpreted by a suite of tools, each with its own range of applications”.
2. Tech.Blorge – The government begins plans to monitor World of Warcraft. “If you’re a die-hard World of Warcraft player, you probably aren’t too concerned about having your online identity known by others; how would you feel if you knew that big brother was monitoring your MMO action? The U.S. government is beginning a program that will monitor the most popular online MMOs so as to identify terrorists online”.
3. Courant.com – Virtually Divorced From Reality. “It started with World War II games on the computer. He would spend hours flying jets, fighting the Germans. And then his interests changed. “I’d wake up in the middle of the night, and he’d be at the computer looking at women’s pictures,” said Jennifer of her ex-husband. “It was lonely for both of us.” Her ex became far more interested in his fantasy online virtual world, with its endless supply of pornography, than in his real family”.
4. BBC News – Virtuality and reality ‘to merge’. “Computers the size of blood cells will create fully immersive virtual realities by 2033, leading inventor Ray Kurzweil has predicted. Exponential growth in processing power and the shrinking of technology would see the development of microscopic computers, he said”.
5. Information Week – Turning Work Into Play Is No Game. “It sounds like techno-utopian silliness to say that businesses need to learn from online games how to make tedious knowledge-work more enjoyable. But many knowledge-work jobs are so deadly dull that the typical worker lasts just nine months — in call centers, for example. Extend that by a few months, and businesses stand to save piles of money, said Byron Reeves, a professor in the department of communication at Stanford University”.
6. BBC News – Virtual and real blur in Eve Online. “Virtual worlds are becoming increasingly rich and diverse environments with complex social and economic eco-systems. Science fiction trading game Eve Online is one of the most dynamic worlds, with its own economists helping players get to grips with the intricacies”.
7. Gamesindustry.biz – Home is “best-looking multiplayer world”. “The creative director of Sony’s Home project has told GamesIndustry.biz in an exclusive interview to be published in full next week that he believes the PlayStation 3 virtual world platform is the “best-looking” and most “user-friendly” multiplayer experience he’s seen so far. Talking on a recent trip to Monaco for the Imagina conference, Ron Festejo explained his feeling that other virtual worlds, such as Second Life, were garish, while other online experiences were simply too hardcore for most people”.
8. ZDNet – Solving the Virtual World Interoperability Problem. “Despite the popularity of Second Life, there are in fact several such services on the market today. Enabling interoperabilty between There, Entropia Universe, Moove, Habbo Hotel, and Kaneva could go along way towards promoting the Virtual World industry. IBM researcher Ian Hughes’ excellent post poses the question of what that interoperability might look like”.
9. Mediaweek – Disney Goes Virtual Kids’ ‘Studios’. “Disney has announced the formation of Disney Online Studios, a new division within the Walt Disney Internet Group focused on virtual worlds, gaming and social networking initiatives aimed at kids. The announcement comes as the company’s latest virtual world, the young girl-aimed Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow, was previewed during Toy Fair in New York on Feb. 19″.
10. ZDNet – Is open source giving Second Life a second life?. “Linden Labs, whose Second Life is so cool yet so lacking in profits it’s been lampooned in an IBM ad, sent out an e-mail alert this week boasting that open source is giving the company, well, a second life”.