Apr 292008

The SIA 25 Live (a snapshot from CNet)

The SAI 25 Live is this new index that is trying to track the hottest startups based on an estimated valuation figure. As you look at the chart, realize these figures are in thousands, so the top of the chart is valued in the billions.

Several of the top 25 are familiar names to readers of this blog and folks who hang around the virtual worlds space:

  • Webkinz
  • Habbo (why it’s not listed as Sulake, I don’t know)
  • Linden Lab
  • Stardoll

Of course, if you are on the Metaverse Roadmap bandwagon, then the stuff like Twitter also fits into the eventual metaverse picture, via the “lifelogging” quadrant. And Meebo, which many think of as just a chat app, has had great success with Meebo Rooms, which is basically am embeddable chat room that you can put on any website — another step towards web-wide synchronous interaction.

The table is intended only to show privately held companies, so many of the big players are absent. And many of these valuations are purely hypothetical — there isn’t necessarily a buyer at that price, and the markets aren’t exactly hot for IPOs right now either. But it does serve to demonstrate the attraction of virtual worlds as a category.

It’s also interesting to me how many of the others are ones I have never heard of. Tudou is a video-sharing site in China. Ozon and Yandex are Russian. There’s a bunch of job-seeking sites, and a bunch of ad networks.

GTA’s latest shots in the culture wars

 Posted by (Visited 8140 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Apr 282008


Totally not safe for work.

Not sure what the distinction is between an M and an AO game these days, but one thing seems clear — Rockstar is not hiding stuff on the disc anymore. Presumably if you don’t try to hide it, you can’t be accused of hypocrisy. 🙂

On the one hand, this is clearly puerile and likely counterproductive in that it undermines what by all accounts is a stellar game with a great script and great gameplay. (I say by all accounts because I don’t have it. And I don’t have it because, well, of scenes like this, and my kids).

On the other hand, the industry does need to be able to tackle mature content, and games with this sort of content should be allowed to exist.

I just kind of wish it weren’t so gratuitous.

The Sunday Poem: Building the Globe

 Posted by (Visited 5196 times)  The Sunday Poem  Tagged with: ,
Apr 272008

We heft the oak beams, one two three, each count
A sturdy truss; smooth hewn and splintered, blunt
And heavy, painted gaily marbled, dun
And costumeless. By numbers shall we know
Their place, when Southwark greets our lumber load;
The Theatre is no more, and soon we’ll have a Globe.
In Shoreditch now there stands a hole, on lease-
Land Burbage didn’t own. And past the trees,
By open fields, his Men will have a Streete-
Built O, wherein proud Oberon will prance
And Lear cry out his woe; where faery dance
For groundlings’ sake, and Puck plays out his pranks.
We’ll sift the straw and lay it straight on top,
And paint anew the spangled sky aloft
Above proscenium’s boards. We’ll stop
The crowd with good stout rails, so high-pitch boys
Can stain their lips and flounce their tails, and raise
A ruckus to the skies, the center of our noise.
But first, we must dismantle, first we take
Apart. If all the world’s a stage and planks
Are how it’s made, then for our Good Lord’s sake
I hope he spent his seven days as well,
Assembling worlds in beams of thirty ells,
A Shakespere for his script, Queen Bess, and all
A-toiling midst the sound of London’s bells.

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