Friday, July 24, 2009

The Economist Covers Kiddie Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds for children
Online playgrounds

Jul 23rd 2009
From The Economist print edition
There is life in virtual reality after all

REMEMBER Second Life, the virtual world that was supposed to become almost as important as the first one? Now populated by no more than 84,000 avatars at a time, it has turned out to be a prime example of how short-lived internet fads can be. Yet if many adults seem to have given up on virtual worlds, those that cater to children and teenagers are thriving. Several have even found a way to make money.

In America, nearly 10m children and teenagers visit virtual worlds regularly, estimates eMarketer, a market researcher—a number the firm expects to increase to 15m by 2013. As of January, there were 112 virtual worlds designed for under-18s with another 81 in development, according to Engage Digital Media, a market research firm.

All cater to different age.

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