Virtual World SIG

SDForum’s Virtual World SIG


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Aug. 25 SIG announced: “Virtual Economies with Real Results: Entropia Universe”

July 19, 2008 By: studiosfo Category: Entropia, SIG meetings, Virtual Worlds No Comments →

I’m very happy to announce the confirmation of John Bates of Entropia Universe as our speaker for the Aug. 25 Virtual World SIG.
Definitely put this on your calendar to join us in Palo Alto or online (in as many VW as we can meet in) for this one.

“Virtual Economies with Real Results: Entropia Universe”

Perhaps no other virtual world has pushed the concept and execution of virtual economies as far as Entropia Universe. Launched in 2003, the free-to-play Entropia has a user base of over 800,000 users today, generating over $400 Million USD in-game turnover in the economy.

Blurring the lines between games, virtual worlds, and real economies, Entropia was chosen in 2007 by the Beijing Municipal People’s Government as the platform of development for the Chinese “Cyber Recreation Development Corp” (CRD). The project will create a cash-based virtual economy for China that encompasses business-to-business transactions and other sophisticated economic models.

Not only innovative in economic terms, the Entropia world is being deployed this year using the CryEngine 2, which will deliver stunning graphical experiences not yet seen on a wide scale on the web. On nearly every level Entropia Universe is leading in virtual world innovation, while extending the reach of the experiences from the game directly to real-world ATM’s.

The change brought about by virtual collaboration is only beginning to be understood. Join us for a unique look inside the merging of real and virtual economies via one of the most fascinating virtual worlds today – Entropia Universe

John Bates Bio:

John Bates represents Entropia Universe and is responsible for business development, strategic marketing & PR initiatives throughout North America.

An Internet pioneer since 1987, Bates is an owner of the world’s leading direct marketer of live entertainment. John co-founded, a leading youth marketer and textbook seller. John consults companies on sales, marketing, brand advocacy, as well as Internet strategy & public relations. Bates has guided the explosive growth of companies from zero to millions in revenues and has experience in virtual worlds dating back to 1994.

John is a highly sought after speaker and has garnered excellent ratings at diverse venues like South by Southwest, Harvard’s Cyberposium, WebAttack, Jupiter Online Developers Conferences, Vanderbilt School of Business Distinguished Speakers Series, St. Gallen School of Business World Leaders Symposium, VeerStichting Symposium, Virtual Worlds, Virtual Goods Summit and more. John brings passion, enthusiasm and long experience in virtual worlds.


6:30 PM – 9:00 PM August 25, 2008
Pillsbury Winthrop
2475 Hanover St.
Palo Alto, CA
*LIVE* online media linked from
About the SDForum Virtual World SIG:

Exploring Space Virtually: NASA and the Blue Mars Project on for June 23 SIG

June 11, 2008 By: BobKetner Category: Presenters, SIG meetings, Virtual Worlds No Comments →

Exploring Space Virtually: NASA and the Blue Mars Project

June 23, 2008
In January 2008 NASA hosted a forward-looking conference ( in order to explore future uses of the virtual world space.  Part of the vision is to engage the public as real-time participants in NASA’s historic moments of exploration in the spirit of “We all get to go”.

Just as Neil Armstrong’s first moon landing was the defining moment for television, it is envisioned that coming NASA historic events will be the defining moment for virtual world technologies.

NASA incorporates virtual world developers and educators as core components of these efforts.  Virtual Space Entertainment, Inc. (VSE) will present their project “Blue Mars 2150?, a massively multiplayer virtual world ( Launching in late 2008, Blue Mars 2150 will be the first high definition, real time virtual world.

As part of its proposal to NASA, VSE is envisioning a Mars Spaceport complex and a NASA Pavillion.  At the heart of the NASA Pavillion will be two elaborate virtual experiences. The first would be a virtual simulation of the first manned mission to Mars and the
establishment of a settlement on the surface of Mars. The second set of missions would take the user through NASA’s Return to the Moon program where users will plan and participate in Moon landings.

VSE is proposing to design a final product that will allow millions of people from around the world to experience our return to space as if they were part of the mission crews themselves.

Within the virtual venue users would also be able to visit a series of museum exhibits detailing the history of US spaceflight, and climb into all of the manned spacecraft from Gemini up through interplanetary Mars craft prototypes.  Visitors would virtually relive the pioneering days of NASA’s manned space program by interactively experiencing a select number of these historic missions.

Join us for an investigation into the uses of virtual worlds for education and remote exploration. Get an advance look at how the future of space exploration will be experienced – through virtual worlds.

Speaker Bio:
Richard Childers is the CEO of Virtual Space Entertainment and creative lead for Blue Mars 2150 project.

For over twenty-five years, Richard has led digital production teams, producing animation, interactive CD ROMs, software, games, web sites, and books. Richard developed three-dimensional visualizations for mass transit systems in

Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Vancouver as well as design studies for the National Science Foundation’s new Ahmudsen South Pole Station. In 1991 he organized the acclaimed computer graphic symposium and exhibition, Infinite

Illusions at the Smithsonian Institution.

From 1993 to 1998, he was President and CEO of Computer Visualizations, Inc., a multimedia publishing/production company he founded and grew to sales of over $2 million. He has recruited, trained, and motivated teams of up to

40 designers, producing over 25 finished commercial projects. His books have been published by Random House and Stewart, Tabori, & Chang. Over the years, he has won 11 major design awards including the Communication Arts

Gold Medal and the I-Magic Platinum award. Prior to founding Virtual Space Entertainment, Inc., Richard served as the Assistant to the President, Special Projects at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Pillsbury Winthrop Office Silicon Valley
2475 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1114


6:30 PM Registration and Networking
7:00 PM -8:40 PM Presentations

$15 at the door for non-SDForum members
No charge for SDForum members
No registration required

Do you feel a “virtual world winter” chill ?

June 10, 2008 By: BobKetner Category: Presenters, SIG meetings, Virtual Worlds, blogs No Comments →

There’s a great post and conversation at:

by Bruce Damer asking whether we are approaching a “New Virtual World Winter”.   I’d encourage you to read the questions and join the conversation, as we’ll use these as the basis for some upcoming meetings including the annual “Future of Virtual Worlds” panel on Oct. 27.

“19 year-old gamer becomes mayor”

May 29, 2008 By: BobKetner Category: FYI, SIG meetings, Virtual Worlds No Comments →

So  the headlines have been blazing about 19 year old John Tyler Hammons (Wikipedia entry) is the “gamer elected mayor”.

Coverage: GamePolitics.comYahoo games, Yahoo news, AP, G4TV

I did a bit of searching but couldn’t find a particular gaming reference but it immediately brought to mind the IBM study with Seriosity on “Virtual Worlds Real Leaders“. This is great reading – (get the full report .pdf here) and I believe there will be a lot more of these gaming parallels given the impact and reach of games on young and old alike.

Some of the folks who participated in the IBM report were presenters and attendees at the Virtual World SIG these kinds of topics were things I spoke about at both Virtual Worlds 2007, and at NASA Virtual Worlds in Jan. 2008. The notions (or theories/findings) that the gaming environment can generate leadership is encouraging. At least, gaming trains users in online collaboration by default, and we’ve realized that “work is an MMOG” along the way from the SIG presentations.

The fact that so many headlines are running the “gaming” angle on the story just might bring the concept to the mainstream discussion. Can’t wait to see what develops around it.

- Bob K.

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Jan. 25, 2010:
(topic tba.)

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