Real world licensed bank in virtual environment

Futuramb writes that: The Swedish based game developer MindArk has been granted a banking license – a real one – by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen). The license will allow Mind Bank AB (a wholly owned subsidiary of MindArk) to function as a central bank for all virtual worlds within the Entropia Universe.

On the one hand this is an obvious step since the connections between virtual/real worlds is getting stronger and eventually currencies in virtual worlds will affect real world currencies. It is surprising that this occurred so quickly. On the topic of real world economies the researcher Castronova published some interesting work a few years ago:

Castronova, Edward. “Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier,” CESifo Working Paper No. 618, December 2001.

Castronova, Edward. “On Virtual Economies,” CESifo Working Paper Series No. 752, July 2002.

Castronova, Edward. “The Price of ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’: A Hedonic Pricing Model of Avatar Attributes in a Synthethic World,” CESifo Working Paper Series No. 957, June 2003.

Virtual marketing for university course

Since being given permission to hold a course on the Vulnerable IT-Society I have been very busy in trying to market the course. The course was approved far too late for it to be included into the ordinary university course catalog so I have been left to my own devices. Basically I have had two months (last date for applications is 15 April) to make people aware and to get them to apply to a course that has been totally unknown.

The attempts to market the course have kind of taken a life of their own and I think that it may be interesting to write an article on the way in which university marketing may work. The first thing I did was to start a blog on the 23 Febuary. The content of the blog mirrors the topics which the course will address and over the last weeks I have added pages of information of literature, course information, lecturers and web2.0 stuff.

A couple of days ago I started a Facebook group and added information to the site. Actual spamming has been relatively low impact and has not resulted in all too much visible results. Finally I have posted notices around town and at various university libraries the results of this have yet to be measured. At the begining of the course I intend to poll the students to find out which information the students found and which had the most effect on them. My hopes for the course is that it will be a big success even in the number of applicants.

The figures so far (all based on the blog stats)

Total views up until today: 2,890

Busiest day: 248 views (February 27, 2009)

Total Posts: 74 & Comments: 70

Over 250 views of the about the course page

All in all this has been a successful blog but will the blog transfer to applications? And will the applications eventually turn into students attending the course? All remains to be seen.

WoW is the new golf

Not surprisingly online games are becoming mainstream. I always imagine that when I get into an old age home there will be a great network and lots of time to play advanced online games. Maybe it is unsurprising that one of Obama’s transition co-chairs is a level 70 Shaman in the Terror Nova pack (that World of Warcraft to the rest of us).

The networking element of gaming is similar to other traditional social interaction as with the country club, bridge group, saloon or golf club.

This will only get more and more common and is a real relief for us who have never managed to figure out the point or the method of getting the little white ball into the cup far, far away.