Organizers of the fourth annual State of Play conference on 'the future of cyberspace' announced that State of Play IV: Building the Global Metaverse, focused around "law, games, and virtual worlds", will take place in Singapore from January 7-9, 2007.
This latest iteration of the roving State Of Play event is sponsored by Harvard, Yale and New York Law Schools, as well as Trinity University in Texas and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
The event will feature discussion by representatives from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas on the growing popularity of virtual worlds such as those demonstrated by World of Warcraft
and Second Life
, and their relationship with the real world. The event is planned to capitalize upon the success of last month's ChinaJoy conference (covered in depth by Gamasutra
), which attracted approximately 124,000 game developers and enthusiasts -- almost twice the number who attended E3 at its peak in 2005 -- and featured a focus on virtual worlds and casual games.
In addition to premiering two documentaries on the topic of virtual worlds, the upcoming event will also feature discussion concerning the about the future of virtual worlds between Wired's Neal Stephenson, science fiction author Cory Doctorow, and “Play Money” author Julian Dibbell. The organizers also noted that Jane McGonigal of Halo 2
'ilovebees' ARG fame also has something planned to share during the conference's opening night.
Panel topics for the event will include virtual property, regulation of virtual worlds, qualitative and quantitative metrics, digital youth cultures, the interpenetration of the physical and the virtual, cross-cultural interaction, taxation, and the state of the industry and virtual worlds as learning environments.
Organizers have noted that a full State of Play conference schedule and registration details will be announced on September 1, 2006. More information on the event, visit the official State Of Play website