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Mobile virtual worlds

MobageVirtual worlds have since its imprint on the global mindset evolved with great speed and diversity across platforms. The mobile platform in particular has reached hardware performance levels close to older low end laptops, enabling them as a serious contender for a Cambrian explosion of applications and in its wake leaving the iPhone trailing. Though, many barriers within the network, service and content providers still needs refinement to truly create an immersive and intuitive user experience, such an explosion of applications will also drive mobile virtual worlds into the mainstream where pioneers like Mini Friday (Habbo Hotel research project) and highly successful Japanese mobile only social network / virtual world Mobage Town with 15 billion page views in June (2008) will shoot like from the sky in Europe and North America.

In case of Mobage Town, its business model accommodate both advertising and real money trade with virtual and physical items in stores (and its Japan so linking the digital with the physical is done via QR codes!). As a national continuation of Mobage Town’s real money trade, the controversy of mobile payment and premium SMS’s has really taken off today, here and here, as two Danish preteen girls on separate occasions have amassed huge phone bills (300 USD & 1.200 USD), spent on virtual items for their virtual horses.

The trend of mobile virtual worlds soon reaching a mainstream audience with all its mobile user interactions of inworld activity or contextually outworld feedback to friends only immersed on a PC will establish ground for new areas of study such as physical social networks, location-based avatar interaction and location-based payment schemes related to mobile virtual worlds.

Posted by Peder Burgaard, Innovation Lab

Posted in Blog.

Tagged with , , .

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