Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And the beat goes on...

More virtual worlds announcements from our friends at Neopets and Nickelodeon. As reported by Jonathan Webdale at C21 Media.Net, Nickelodeon is set to launch a series of tie-in worlds that will link back to its popular Nicktropolis MMOG, including one based entirely around SpongeBob Squarepants, one based on Monkeys (Monkey World?), and possibly an MMORPG version of Neopets (tentatively called World of Neopia). Meanwhile, as Webdale writes and as readers of Gamine Expedition are already well aware, Disney plans to launch a series of 3-D virtual worlds/MMOGs based around Cars (Radiator Springs), Disney's Fairies (Pixie Hollow), and Toy Story...branded virtual worlds which will compete with (or perhaps "synergize" with) Disney's existing MMOGs Toontown, Club Penguin and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. In terms of news that's new to us, Webdale reports that a new player will soon be joining the race to monopolize kids' online time (and $$):
Digital PlaySpace, a company set up by former Mattel software producer Jesyca Durchin, has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Indie Media subsidiary Virtual Indie. The funding will be used to launch the company's first project – a virtual play experience for girls aged 8-12.

And the virtual worlds explosion continues...at least until the bubble bursts and the industries turn to other things. Then again, I also came across this today:
Announcing the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is a online, open access, peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary, academic journal, which engages established and emerging scholars from anywhere in the world. Web site: http://jvwr.org

Statement of Purpose and Open Call for Papers
We would like to take this opportunity to invite collaborators, reviewers and contributors to participate in the development of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. We are thrilled to announce our first open call for papers. We will accept essays, papers, original research, interactive online exhibits with accompanying detailed descriptions, and other forms of scholarship on a wide range of topics on an on-going basis.

Open Calls for Papers:
1st edition’s theme: “Virtual Worlds Research: Past, Present & Future” Due date: June 1, 2008

2nd edition’s theme: “Social identity and Consumer Behavior in Virtual Worlds” Due date: August 15, 2008

3rd edition’s theme: “Cultures of Virtual Worlds” Due date: September 30, 2008

4th edition’s theme: “Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in Virtual Worlds” Due December 15, 2008

Check out the full CFP and statement of purpose here.

Meanwhile, I should have some comments and tidbits from last week's CCFC Summit up soon, as well as some more findings from my kids and mobile devices study, which I am currently doing the write up for...among other things. My internet access will be limited for the next couple of weeks, so please continue to bear with me - Gamine Expedition will be back to its regular update frequency by the end of the month, as I get re-settled in for a semester of writing and research back in my own home!!!


Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

Seems like it's going to be a pretty large bubble before it pops. Are you going to add your two cents to the new journal?

Sara M. Grimes said...

It does indeed. And I'm not sure yet - I may wait and find out a bit more about its angle/approach before submitting something.