Virtual worlds

Why This Week’s Roblox IPO Should Be of Interest, Even to Non-Gamers

March 8th 2021

Roblox should be on your radar as a force in culture, creativity, and consumerism. Its direct listing IPO, scheduled for Wednesday, shows how highly relevant companies don’t need a flood of promotional dollars to position themselves as valuable brands.

Should Avatars Be Issued 1099-MISCs and Pay Taxes?

January 22nd 2009

Avatars may not be taxed directly yet, but their creators may soon be. China and Australia are already experimenting with taxation of sales in virtual worlds. Now, in the US, the IRS’s “taxpayer advocate” has encouraged the service to consider taxation in virtual worlds. The Washington Post suggests the IRS could improve voluntary tax compliance […]

The State of Business and Law in Virtual Worlds

May 12th 2008

Are virtual worlds a technology distraction, or the next frontier for major brands?  That’s the question I took on in Thomson CompuMark’s most recent client newsletter. If you’d like some concrete examples of how brands are experimenting in virtual worlds, and to find out about the array of legal issues being taken on by early […]

McKinsey & Forrester: Virtual Worlds on the Cusp of Expansion

May 8th 2008

Last year, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company launched a virtual ventures contest in Second Life. Now the firm has published an outlook report on how established businesses are reaching consumers in virtual worlds, and notes that many companies are”ignoring them at their peril.” Current business uses of virtual worlds extend beyond marketing to training, […]

Congressional Hearing on Second Life Airs Standard New Tech Concerns

April 8th 2008

This week, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held the first-ever Congressional hearing to learn about virtual worlds.  Committee Chair, Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, convened the meeting, which took place both in the Rayburn Building in Washington and in a virtual Rayburn Building in Second Life. Representatives asked questions such as: Could Second […]

Virtual Worlds Conference Kicks Off in New York

April 3rd 2008

Today’s conference kicked off with Chuck Scothon, General Manager and SVP , Girls Mattel Brands, and Rosie O’Neill, who is Sr. Brand Manager and “Chief Barbie Girl.”  That means she manages development of initiatives including the virtual world. Social critics suggest such toy centered worlds provide a pedagogy of consumerism, and make products and […]

A Global Tour of Online Protests

March 17th 2008

Where have all the protests gone? Many of the most interesting and successful are making creative use of new online environments. And they’re winning concessions from the powers that be.

Legal Interest Heats Up In Second Life

February 5th 2008

Virtual worlds are emerging as a popular new legal topic. They create a host of interesting opportunities as tools for legal practice, and at the same time are a medium that needs to be reconciled to laws from the physical world.  The apparatus of the law is increasingly present in Second Life : You Can […]

Trademarks in Virtual Worlds

December 2nd 2007

Part 3 in a series: Part 1 | Part 2 An avatar walks into a bar in Second Life, and another avatar looks at his shoes and says, “Hey! Nice Air Jordans!” Although it sounds like a classic joke set-up, it’s really a case of trademark infringement. Sorry if you’re disappointed there’s no punchline, but […]

More than Second Life: Virtual Worlds Provide Choices, Challenges

November 7th 2007

Part 2 in a series of 3.  (Read Part 1 | Part 3 ) In addition to the popular Second Life (SL), how many of these virtual worlds exist? Gobs, and it’s getting more gobby every day. The folks over at have a chart that describes a number of the more well-known virtual worlds. Still […]