Posts Tagged ‘Sigmund Leominster’

In a press release on May 15th, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon called for better protection of children in cyberspace.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“As they surf through cyberspace seeking information and entertainment and building social networks, they are also among the most vulnerable to exploitation. Without safeguards, their precious lives are at grave risk in the vicious world of cybercriminals and pedophiles that prey on easy targets.”

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child both recognizes the right to access to information but also accords protection against all forms of inducement to engage in unlawful activities, the Secretary-General said, calling for these provisions to be applied rigorously.

“The virtual world has exciting possibilities for nurturing children and helping them grow into creative, productive adults,” said Ban Ki-moon.

“But we must mind the pitfalls that could scar them for life,” Mr. Ban said, calling on policy-makers and industry leaders to take action to ensure the safety of all in the rapidly-evolving virtual world.


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In its recent press release Sulake Corporation, the parent company of Habbo, the world ‘s largest virtual world for teenagers, announced it has broken all previous records with sales 20% up in December 2008. As a result the company reached an annual revenue milestone of 50 million Euros (74 million USD) leading to profit; 4.8 million Euros (7 million USD) of EBITDA and a positive net result.

By year-end the Habbo community had also grown: 121 million Habbo characters had been created and the number of returning visitors increased by over 40%. Traffic to the virtual world also reached an all time high in December with over 11,5 million unique visitors.

Timo Soininen, CEO of Sulake Corporation explains:

“Our success in 2008 was a realization of the hard work we have put into Habbo. Constant site updates, usability improvements and a refresh of avatar clothing and accessories have all contributed to boosting our user experience and numbers. More teens than ever are visiting Habbo and they are staying longer.”

“We are confident that our Habbo business model, which is based primarily on user sales and supported by advertising, is a clear strength in the current economic climate. We do see opportunity to grow our advertising revenue with advertisers looking for targeted and cost effective social media solutions. Furthermore, IRC-Galleria, our social networking service for young adults, has continued to grow both in user and advertising revenue.”

In 2009 Sulake aims to continue driving growth and profitability. In addition, the company plans to extend its product portfolio into new platforms and target audiences with the launch of a new service later this year.

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Abandon Interactive Entertainment has released three trailers for their upcoming virtual game, Freaky Creatures.

Players customize their Creatures using a variety of parts and powers before taking them online to battle their friends. Players are awarded Creature Credits, which can be redeemed at the Creature Club Store online to purchase additional parts, powers and other objects.

Players can stay connected with opponents as well as other players via the live chat and spectator feature.

The Freaky Creatures experience begins with a starter pack that includes two action figures and a one-gigabyte reusable flash drive as the key to the Freaky Creatures Universe. Once players have customized their creature they can jump straight into battle or build a lair in which they can care for their creature and hang out with friends. Players can also participate in the Freaky Creatures community, personalize their homepage, play mini-games, join tournaments, check leaderboards, trade items, read animated comics, enter contests, form teams and much more in the ever expanding Freaky Creatures Universe.

Primary Source: Freaky Creatures

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There are two ways to experience the thrill of landing an airplane – whether that be on runway or a river. The first is to go to pilot training school and earn a license, then buy your own plane or get a job in the aviation industry. The second is to hijack a plane and fly it to Cuba. This is, of course, not recommended, partly because Cuban airports aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and, more seriously, law enforcement agencies frown on this sort of behavior. Even if it’s just a frat house prank.

There is a third option, which involves flying on as many routes as possible until you find yourself on one where the pilot has had a heart attack and the flight attendant screams “Can anyone fly a plane?” You can up your chances by sticking to routes serviced by East European airlines or hop on Afghanistan’s Ariana – sometimes called ‘scaryana.”

Another alternative is to check out a virtual landing of Thai Airways 777-300 landing at Toncontin Intl. Runway 1. Here you can experience the flight simulator version of how to touch down safely on concrete without ending up smeared across large swathes of Honduras.

So, next time I find myself on a flight to Honduras, I can feel safe in the knowledge that should both pilots find themselves incapacitated by an aneurysm, heart attack, or crate of vodka, I have a fighting chance of being a hero, touching down and hearts simultaneously.

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The Second Annual Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference will be taking place in Second Life on April 24th and 25th, 2009. The aim of the conference is “to provide a gathering place for librarians, information professionals, educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds.”

In the call for papers, the organizers stress that although the actual conference will be held in the virtual world of Second Life, presentation and paper proposals about LEM developments in other virtual worlds are encouraged.

They list possible topics as follows:

    Virtual world events and exhibits as the drivers of attendance and engagement
    Immersive learning environments
    Reference service possibilities and practicalities in virtual worlds
    Corporate and special librarianship in virtual worlds
    Educational tools and resources
    Enterprise uses of virtual worlds
    Tours of LEM locations in Second Life
    Gaming and virtual worlds
    VW LEM opportunities for children, tweens, and teens
    Dreams and visions for LEM activities in virtual worlds
    Assessing LEM initiatives in virtual worlds
    Sustainability issues and opportunities for LEM activities in virtual worlds

Other topics pertinent to the broad topic of LEM activities in virtual worlds are welcome and innovative proposals are encouraged.

Primary source: Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums Conference site

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On April 6th, 2009, Washington State University and the McCormick Foundation are partnering for a unique Specialized Reporting Institute that will bring together leading technology executives and journalists to examine the recent rise of new media outlets and distribution within 3D virtual world spaces. The day-long free event will be held at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, and it aims to explore both commercial and citizen reporting efforts through a series of panels, presentations and workshops.
According to the director of the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program, Clark Bell, “Our reporting institutes are designed to be timely, engaging and insightful. This event should certainly fulfill our expectations and serve as a valuable learning platform for the participating journalists.”

“We’re excited to bring together many of the leaders in technology and journalism to discuss and explore this new media channel for storytelling,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “These and other emerging forms of digital news distribution offer both promise and potential for our students and for the future of journalism.”

And according to Erica Austin, the dean of the college, “These emerging 3D spaces offer fascinating new opportunities for storytelling. And as the traditional, newspaper-based world of journalism looks for appropriate new ways to provide the vital checks and balances vital to democracy, this event will provide a very significant catalyst for innovation.”

The current schedule is available at the McCormick web site.

Primary source: The Edward. R. Murrow College of Communication

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WeeWorld, an interactive avatar community and home of the WeeMee, and Virtual Greats LLC, a virtual goods sales and distribution system, have announced the debut of a fashion line and room accessories from celebrity and musician Justin Timberlake. WeeWorld will offer users new items including, shirts, pants, shoes, hats and more. Special accessories designed to capture Timberlake’s unique style, as well as his celebrity WeeMee, will also be available for fans to add to their WeeWorld Room.

Wee Justin Timberlake

Wee Justin Timberlake

WeeWorld YouTube url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUE0h1qZ2x0

Primary Source: Virtual Worlds News

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