Virtual Worlds' Impact Employment and Business, Politics and Government

2 Person Team - This team will analyze this trend's impact on two areas of society: employment and Politics & Government. Insert the name of your trend in the headline of the page as listed above.

Overview of Virtual Worlds' Impact on Employment and Business

Current Impact

One idea that will link a person between multiple virtual worlds and massively multi player games is a sort of ID that gives you a reputationRolex_in_SL.jpg or status that follows you around. This way, someone can build up a good status and have it follow that person around, no matter what world he is in. If this happens, people applying for positions in companies would be more likely to get it if they had a good reputation. In the future, people's actions will be monitored in virtual worlds just as they are in real life. Companies will then be able to look up a person's background in both worlds.
Looking at this, it is evident that any person interested in future employment trends such as this one and believes that this will be part of his or her future in business would need to build up a substantialNike_in_SL.jpg identity that is ready to act as a decent background. Though this is not impacting business today, it will be important in the future. Those who realize this early will be ahead of the major field of average applying businessmen and women.
Just as it is in our everyday life, companies surround us with advertisement of their products. Already, companies such as Nike, Rolex, and Gucci are all over Second Life. The problem is that most companies are not in these worlds yet and everything that has their name on it isn't really theirs. Already there have been copyright infringements, for


people are putting music and novels into these worlds without the consent of the owners of the products in real life.


Looking around the WorldChanging website, I found an interesting article on how instead of acting as a new form of interaction between businesses, virtual worlds could possibly replace current ways of socializing. It states that instead of making business connections while playing golf, they could do this in virtual worlds. The benefits of this would be that companies wouldn't have to spend money on sending their employees around the country, workers wouldn't have to risk travel casualties such as terrorism or disease, and meetings and conferences can be done in private settings in virtual worlds. The article suggests ideas that creaters could use to offer smoother conferences in virtual worlds. So, now it is up to the actual virtual worlds to make these ideas become reality and putting it out for the public to see.
In the near future, companies such as Nike, Timex, Dr. Pepper, and Ford will be able to make money off of virtual worlds. By designingadvertisment_ shoes, watches, shirts, or cars in virtual worlds, they will be able to sell them to users just as in real life and create somewhat of an income to their businesses. When this happens, virtual worlds will explode with billboards, posters, and other ads trying to sell users of virtual worlds their products. Soon, your style of dress will say as much about you in a virtual world as it does in real life.
This form of advertisement has already become evident in some settings such as games.

What needs to happen to produce employees who are ready for the business world in the future:

Courses should be created or current ones that pertain to this subject need to indicate the importance of these possibilities.

Overview of Virtual Worlds' Impact on Politics and Government

Include: elections, laws, the "mindset" of political leaders and governments, and the education of policy makers about the trend.

Current Impact

Already people in virtual worlds have been committing crimes labeled illegal by an actual government. Issues such as child pornography, scamming, and copyright infringment have come up as possible problems for government to have to deal with. Having to decide the difference in illegality between crimes such as gambling committed in real life and those committed in Virtual Worlds will pose a formidable problem for lawyers to face. This becomes complicated on certain issues because there are many points on how these people are not breaking the law. Benjamin Duranske states that trademark issues do not cause everyone infringing on them to be criminals. Some of these companies "aren’t in the virtual world yet anyway" pointing out that they have no rights to the trademark on those grounds. The companies with these problems, however, disagree. "There’s also an argument that Nike is actually hurt by all of this, even if they aren’t losing sales. Some of the places that sell knock-off 'Nikes' in-world also sell porn on the next display, some of them show the shoes next to arguably illegal gaming machines, and some just make flat-out hideous footwear. All of these things can reasonably lead to consumers thinking less of the real Nike shoe company." - Benjamin Duranske
Some forms of government in virtual worlds are merely recreations of actual events that occurred. Some colleges have recently been using a virtual world as a learning tool. In the video below, the Josh Wolf case was recreated by students at Harvard Law School partly to help support his cause. This Josh Wolf Mock Trial was held in second life and attended to by Josh Wolf himself.

Virtual worlds have started becoming a new social platform where many people spend a lot of time with others engaging in activities in groups. Not only education and employment are involved in the online life but also politics. "all four major candidates in the latest French presidential elections had SL campaign headquarters that each received thousands of visitors daily."¹
This is only one example of political activity in the real world that has been going on in Second Life. The governments and parties have accepted the new platform and recognized its use to spread their word to many thousands of voters in this new fairly cheap form of advertisement.

All four of the largest French political parties have opened headquarters in second life. Visits to these headquarters of the political parties have gone up to 20,000 avatars daily for Ségolene Royal. The political activity has not only restricted itself to advertising and campaigning for political parties trying to gain more voters through this new form of media but the voters have also come into action. Protests, debates and rallies are also on the everyday plan of the interested avatars. "Le Pen's headquarters lay in ruins, deserted by staff and guards."² Protesters have attacked the headquarters of the French politician over a period of time and finally succeeded in destroying Le Pen's online political headquarters.
The building was rebuilt in a different location by the party of the politician. The party states that they are not only targeting potential voters in France with their online campaigning but also users from other countries who are interested in French politics. Second Life allows these people to get engaged in the actions and really see the political views of the parties from first hand without having to visit the real world headquarters.

Not only political parties or users of second life are affected by this but the whole world and its creators, there has been an increase in "avatars" due to the appearance of politics in the virtual world. The French users have moved up to second place in the amount of users from one country, first are still U.S. users. James Wagner Au who is a second life blogger and an up to date member of the online community thinks that these new people have come partly because of the elections and the attention they get in the virtual world. It enables them to bring in their oppinions and reactions to the information.

Video created by Albert (VIS)
The role of Virtual Worlds in politics and govenment


How will politics and government change, if at all, because of this trend?

The examples that have been seen in the past of the campaigning in the virtual environment of the French and American parties have proved to be pretty successful and the attention towards this new form of politics is increasing from all sides. Political parties are becoming more interested and the online second life community is also growing with more and more people linking second life to real life in terms of employment, education and leisure but also politics.

The start of this new form of advertising is still taking its time to get attention "But increasingly, politicians in France and across Europe are discovering what businesses have already recognized: If they build a virtual headquarters in cyberspace, real people will come."³ The change that is seen from the real world people who take in information in the virtual world is that they are much more open to new things and also to discussion because they feel their identity is more concealed and therefore they can be more open with their own oppinions.

A major question to do with the growing of the online community of second life and their interest in politics is how far real world campaigning and online campaigning can run parallel and what extra resources are needed. For a while this online presence will be an addition to the real world marketing and maybe only a small part of it but it could be that politics will start going even more in presence in the virtual world. The opportunity cost of this is that the real world could end up neglected as politics goes online.
For this to happen the online community still needs to move a long way, but when they do the parties will follow and increase their presence in the online world just as they have done now on a smaller scale.

What needs to happen to have more effective governments

As it relates to this trend, what can or needs to happen in governments to make them more effective.

The role of the virtual world in this area of impact is the more international platform it offers to those who want to spread information. Political parties can really express their ideas first hand to many people at a low cost without people receiving second hand information which has been altered and interpreted by journalists or critics.
"Second Life's most obvious benefit is one of geography. Virtual locations are not tied to any offline place." - Nancy Scola

Another aspect is the fact that the users of the online world feel more in touch with the parties and their information when they experience their ideas in the online environment than if they would see them on television. Because real world speeches and political rallies are often more difficult for the parties as well as the people attending them the online form of these events allows many more users and potential voters to hear the information given out by the politicians.
To really use this new plattform well there will be a new job market created both in the real world and in second life as more and more politicians go into the virtual world. Once again the "techies" coming from a computer science background will be the most wanted for the new jobs of setting up online headquarters for the politicians since they are the ones doing the "building" in form of programming and the Second Life building tool. But like in the real world managers and coordinators as well as fields of marketing will have to be considered in the online world as well as in the real one. If future turns out as it is being predicted at the moment that the second life community will continue to grow rapidly and politics will become a large part of it the parties will have to find a way to run a good campaign in both the real world and the virtual world.
Employment of seperate sectors for both real and virtual world will be a probable solution for the future. A major factor of this for the parties is if it will be worth the money to have all these employees working on both plattforms for the party. Solutions to a closer link between the real world and the online world politics will have to be found as the virtual environment grows and becomes more important.

Resource Documentation

You will document the tools that you have used for this project here. Include your name. Remember to hyperlink to online websites that are used. Group and subgroup pages.
  • Collaborative Tool-

You and your partner MUST use to share hyperlinks and research See bookmarking your research. Each team member should hyperlink to all of their tags that include hz07 at this location. (This is not an RSS feed! Just a hyperlink.)
  • Creation Tools -

The tools that you use to create the things seen on this page. Sub pages go on the sub wiki pages. Cite the item that you created and the tools used to create it, along with any notes for someone who wishes to create it as well.
  • Citation Tool

What did you use to generate the citations on this page. (Citation format: MLA)


¹ - The Politics of Second Life
² - French Politics in 3-D on Fantasy Website
³ - French Politics in 3-D on Fantasy Website

You will cite quotations and major sources of information for your wiki. If the source is an online source, you MUST also include a hyperlink embedded in the text as well. The method for citing sources on this wiki is that when you want to quote something, enclose it in quotes, then type the appropriate number in parentheses -- eg. if it is your first source (1) then in the credit section, number each source appropriately.

Related Information

this site demonstrates what is happening now and to come in the future:

Edited by Collin E. and Albert P.
Standard: American English