Virtual World SIG

SDForum’s Virtual World SIG


Archive for March, 2008

Virtual-Worlds Consortium releases survey of virtual worlds interest groups

March 25, 2008 By: studiosfo Category: SIG meetings, Serious games, Virtual Worlds No Comments →

Stanford Research Institute – Consulting Business Intelligence (aka. SRIC-BI today released results from a survey taken amongst the members of their own  Virtual Worlds Consortium, SDForum’s Virtual World SIG, Boulder, Colorado’s  Serious Second Life, and Stanford’s  MetaverseU.

The  download is available at: and directly linked here (link opens .pdf document):

The groups questioned largely focus on collaborative work (serious games) more than entertainment uses, and the survey was geared towards that.  Members of these groups are definitely motivated to use virtual worlds (70% see significant potential) and cite security and eases of use as key to adoption by enterprise and government customers.
The respondents were split 50/50 on whether Second Life would remain the leading VW platform in the next 2-3 years.

At least one quarter of the respondents use virtual worlds over 20 hours per week.  Another quarter only use them 1-5 hours per week.
Another 36% use virtual worlds in a 5-20 hour range, and the remaining 12.5% barely log on and use less than 1 hour per week.
<1 hour           12.5%
1-5 hours        26.3%
5-10 hours     15.0%
10-20 hours   21.3%
20+ hours       25%

That’s as far as I’ve had time to dig into this but there are a lot of forward-looking questions and interesting conclusions  in there – so take a look.
Thanks to  Dr. Eilif Trondsen of SRIC-BI  for conducting and sharing the survey.

-Bob Ketner

IBM’s 5 trends for the coming virtual workplace

March 21, 2008 By: studiosfo Category: Serious games, Virtual Worlds No Comments →

Here’s that list from 03/19/08 from Mike Rhodin  of IBM Lotus that references 5 trends to embrace in the virtual workplace.The press release is here: 

Here’s my own description of them:

1) “The Virtual Workplace will become the rule.”
Laptops and mobile devices will allow us to move beyond the “desk – typewriter – phone” model of the workplace. For many people of course this is already a way of life.  Social networking aspects of the virtual world will give the feeling of community.  The need for business travel will be reduced as virtual worlds and telepresence tools get better.

2) Real-time collaboration will become the norm. 
Email is too slow, and should be used (as it is in Second Life) as merely a cache of stored messages which arrived for you while you were asleep.  Again, already many young workers consider email too slow, having grown up on texting on phones.

3) “Beyond Phone Calls”. 
If you value productivity and time, the telephone is one of the least effective ways to communicate. Here IBM again mentions IM as being a tool for replacing many phone communications.  Now, of course the telephone is not going away, that’s not the point.  But there are huge benefits available in shifting select communications from phone to IM.

4) Interoperability desired.
IBM focuses on interoperability and open standards as inevitable as the space matures.  A lot of this just hasn’t been figured out yet and may not be, since platforms are generally competing business entities with different competencies. They are not necessarily interested in interoperability, whereas business just requires a coherent set of tools that does a few basic things flawlessly. That might not be found in any 1 platform, hence the cry for openness. They also mention increased ease of finding resources which could refer to ease of finding things in virtual worlds or better access to the correct individuals.

5) “Meetings” replaced with new models.
Fewer meetings – Woo-hoo!  It’s a conceptual leap – “gaming technologies will significantly influence online corporate meeting experiences”.  As I said at Virtual Worlds Fall 2007 in San Jose “gamers are using it now” and in fact, “collaborating ” much more effectively and with less cost.

-Bob Ketner

IBM and Forterra team up: “Unified Communications”

March 21, 2008 By: studiosfo Category: Presenters, Virtual Worlds, defense No Comments →

There were big announcements over the last couple of days that IBM and Forterra are teaming up to create collaboration tools for intelligence agencies. Both companies (IBM on 01/22/07 and Forterra on 06/25/07) have presented at the Virtual World SIG over the past year.

The article on applications for intelligence agencies are here:

and here:

Covered by here:

That article references another release in which Mike Rhodin of IBM Lotus describes 5 future trends in this direction of “Unified Communications”. That release is linked here: Marketwire IBM press release.

And more discussion about the IBM view of virtual worlds here:

This type of news could be an early glimpse of the slope of enlightenment, which would be welcome, as there are indications that this could be a trough of disillusionment period. It’s good to see these virtual world concepts that have been talked about for so long put into some concrete plans. Now let’s just hope that today’s version of the ARPANET is online and their version of “the grid” is up when the red phone rings at 3 am!

-Bob Ketner

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