Best Of WorldsInMotion: From Wizard101 to Koinup

Every week, we'll be featuring the top stories from the surging online/virtual world space from Gamasutra sister site This week's notables in the space include an Online World Atlas entry fo
Every week, we'll be featuring the top stories from the surging online/virtual world space from Gamasutra sister site This week's notables in the space include an Online World Atlas entry for KingsIsle Entertainment's Wizard101, some reports on the virtual world industry including the revelation that 73% of British Tweens use MMOs, and an interview with Koinup's Pierluigi Casolari. Worlds In Motion's Online World Atlas: Wizard101 "Wizard101 is easily the most impressive kid-orientated virtual world that I've played in my (admittedly short) time investigating them ... It's probably the perfect example of how free-to-play can work. The core game is so fun from the get go I imagine most players want to pay for it just to unlock the extra possibilities on offer." Interview: Koinup's Pierluigi Casolari On Social Networks for Virtual Worlds "The syncronous communication and the immersivity of virtual worlds make them excellent for some aspects, but not for all. "Metaverse" citizens need web hangouts for sharing their content, their opinions, to build their network of friends, for uploading artwork ... If virtual life and what happen in virtual worlds are to make sense, they need proper and specific tools, which we are creating for Koinup." Immersive Workspaces Now Available On Second Life Grid "The partnership was announced due to the 'demand for a solution that enables organizations to quickly implement, configure and populate a virtual world … Immersive Workspaces meets these needs by pre-configuring workspace options and wrapping the Second Life Grid solution in a web-based framework rich with familiar tools and interfaces.'" Second Life Being Translated Into Ten Languages "In roughly a month the virtual world is to be available -- completely translated -- in German, French, Korean and Japanese, thanks to the work of Second Life residents working in tandem with a 'small number' of staff members." Reports: $148.5 Million Invested In Virtual Worlds In Q3, 73% of British Tweens Use Virtual Worlds "Virtual Worlds Management has announced the numbers of their study of investments in virtual world companies by venture capitalists and media fims, revealing that over $148.5 million dollars were invested in 12 virtual world companies in the third quarter of 2008 alone ... a new report from Dubit Research (via Virtual Worlds Forum) which shows that 73% of British 7-12 year olds use a virtual world -- with 43% in Club Penguin, 27% in Habbo, and only 8% using a virtual world that isn't one of the top ten." Parks Associates: Virtual Worlds to Reach 33 Million Users in 2013 "Market research and consulting company Parks Associates has just released details of their new report, Virtual Worlds: the Internet of Avatars, and the main revelation is that the industry is to see incredible growth within the next five years -- reaching 33 million registered users by 2013." Interested parties can read daily news on the online/virtual worlds space at the weblog, with the next Worlds In Motion Summit planned for GDC 2009.

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