The Kids Are Going to be All Right

19 December, 2008

I’ve had a long time post brewing about the youth of today and how they are global and social from Day 0 from the use of virtual worlds like Disney’s Club Penguin.  The thinking is still far from over but the post ends with my concerns for the widening of the digital divide.

Then, you read about how Club Penguin are running Coins for Change for the 2nd year and you think you know what, the kids are going to be all right.

Coins for Change

New Horizons, an organization spearheaded by the site’s founders, shall divide a $1 million donation between three charities. Users donate virtual coins to their charity of choice, thereby “voting” on the proportion of the $1 million donation each charity receives.

Lane Merrifield Executive Vice President Walt Disney Internet Group, Co-founder and General Manager Club Penguin says this:

Our hope is that Coins for Change helps children in the Club Penguin community understand there is more to life than just earning coins, and encourages them to make a difference in the lives of kids throughout the world,

Last year more than 2.5 million players donated in excess of two billion virtual coins. They’ve been asking us for another opportunity to give ever since and we can’t wait to see the results!

Some may take a cynical view that the coins are just virtual, etc. but in my opinion the value of the in-game money is something of real value to the players (I mean look at the discussions of the economies of  WOW and Second Life) and therefore, scratch my title.

The Kids Are All Right!

Google Shutters Lively

20 November, 2008

Sad Lively Avatar

Google has announced they are closing their foray into virtual worlds, Lively.

On the surface it’s somewhat surprising news at it was only launched in July this year but talk across the blogosphere is that Lively hasn’t lived up to expectations. 

From looking quickly at Google Trends (with comparisons to, and it’s glaringly obvious that something wasn’t working here. 

Google Trends-,,, secondlife.com_1227183027433

What’s of particular interest is that is considered a blazen knock-off of imvu (apparently Google tried to buy the company and then when that failed, Google peeled off an imvu founder to lead the Lively project.)

As Jack Schofield wrote

Ahem, isn’t that the sort of thing Microsoft is supposed to do?