Around the Virtual World

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

 

The Virtual Military

While much of the international system remains mired in the economic doldrums, many global military powers continue to increase defense budgets focused upon the research and development of simulation technologies. As part of our week-long focus on the importance of games to international relations and security, today we consider how Russia,
China and the United States are using virtual simulators to train its armed forces.

Social game Idle Worship takes Facebook gaming to new level

Idle Games is launching a next-generation social game today dubbed Idle Worship. The title opens up a new genre on Facebook — the once popular “god game” — and it has an interesting and witty approach to social gameplay. Founded by former ad executive Jeffrey Hyman, San Francisco-based Idle Games is in a “holy war against games that suck or aren’t actually social.”

TrialPay and TubeMogul Introduce Real-Time Bidding for Virtual Currency and Social Video

TrialPay,
a leader in transactional advertising, and TubeMogul, a media buying platform for brand advertising, announced a partnership that brings real-time media buying to social video advertising for the first time today.

Illinois legislation to ban employers from asking for social network passwords hits snag

Legislation that would prohibit employers from seeking job applicants’ social network passwords is on hold in the Illinois House. Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford’s measure would allow job-seekers to file lawsuits if asked for access to sites like Facebook. Bosses could still ask for usernames that would allow them to view public information on the sites.

 Smithsonian Art Of Video Games Exhibit Opens With Gaming Festival

The exhibit is curated by Chris Melissinos of Past Pixels, a group charged with the preservation of video game history. Over the past year, Melissinos — aided by a board of advisors that includes Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, text adventure veteran Steve Meretzky, and Penny Arcade team Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik — designed an exhibit that encourages visitors to make what Melissinos calls “a deeply personal decision” of whether video games are art. The exhibit offers five eras of video games with both playable demos and self-playing videos,
showcasing everything from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 3, from the traditional platforming of Super Mario Bros. to the more experimental play of Flower.

Navy Pursues a Better Attack Submarine Virtually

Technical advances in the field of virtual reality, also known as virtual worlds (VWs), are making it possible for the U.S Navy to tap into the collective expertise of its best submariners to design and build the next generation of attack submarines. At the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, designers are able to create collaborative environments for submarine development using a fully immersive virtual reality application similar to the popular Second Life environment, which enables them to interact with one another both audibly and visually. Numerous participants at remote sites worldwide are linked to one another through the Defense Department’s secure computer network.