Virtual worlds, particularly Second Life, have generated much excitement — and much skepticism. In Virtual Worlds: A Business Guide, the newest O’Reilly Radar report, Ben Lorica, Roger Magoulas, and the O’Reilly Radar team get past the hype (and the anti-hype), detail what is happening in Second Life and other virtual worlds, and lay out what businesses need to do to succeed in these worlds, now and in the future. It examines business opportunities, evaluates what has been successful and what hasn’t, and what trends are starting to emerge. Those interested in the present will finds an in-depth study of Second Life; those interested in the future will be most interested in what we’ve learned about children’s engagement in virtual worlds. Indeed, the most active users of virtual worlds aren’t adults yet. Regardless of how Second Life ends up as a business, there are plenty of reasons to be bullish about virtual worlds as a business category. This report shows why and what to do about it.
Radar managing editor