Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

Disney Buys Social Networking site Togetherville

Togetherville, designed for children under 10, adds to Disney’s stable of Internet properties including social gaming company Playdom and mobile application developer Tapulous.

Gamification and Avoiding the Fate of ARGs

Supposedly,
there’s much that can be done with gamification to build deep engagement with users. Games can enhance lives. Everything can become a game, from work to social causes, education and art.

Virtual Reality Technology at City Tech Lab

New York City College of Technology (City Tech)
yesterday inaugurated a new state-of-the-art psychology research laboratory,
the first such facility in the college’s history.

There’s a Bigger Mistake You Could Make Than Offending the SEC

Opinions on how advisors and their vendors should approach social media abound. It’s an interesting topic. But, perhaps because of the focus on compliance, some basic issues haven’t been addressed in-depth. You might wonder: “Why the heck did Twitter get popular? What can it actually do for me? Should I just pipe my regular marketing materials into these new networks?”

Snooping on Social Networks to Vet Jurors and Hire Employees

While attorneys use Facebook and social media to vet jurors, some government agencies are demanding social network passwords from potential employees. Sometimes social networking comes back to bite you with privacy invasion.

Mobile Social Gaming Goes Mainstream

Sometimes it seems like the only thing that’s permanent in the mobile industry is impermanence–the pace of innovation guarantees that nothing stays the same for very long. One exception is the enduring popularity of mobile gaming: From BlackBerry staple Brick Breaker to blockbuster du jour Angry Birds, the titles may change,
but consumer interest in gaming remains intact.

hi5 Announces “Sociopay”
Advanced Monetization Platform

hi5, one of the world’s leading platforms for social games, today announced the launch of the SocioPay
monetization platform designed to maximize revenue for social games. SocioPay

dynamically determines the optimal monetization solution for every commerce opportunity, including identifying players who are less likely to purchase and offering advertising as an alternative to traditional payment options.

MocoSpace Launches $1M Mobile Game Developer Fund

Mobile social network MocoSpace is launching a $1 million HTML5 Mobile Game Developer Fund to accelerate the development of games played on smartphone browsers.