Virtual worlds virtually exploding in popularity


Gamasutra has a interesting article that wraps up the Virtual Worlds 2007 spring conference and asks if they are the future of gaming. They cite the growth and expansion of sites like Disney's Virtual Magic Kingom, Nickelodeon's Nicktropolis, and MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach -- which is soon to include Virtual Pimp My Ride and Virtual Hills, and be connected by a virtual superhighway.

Anyone else tired of the word virtual? While virtual worlds might become the future of social networks, we're not sure that they're the future of gaming. It's hard to imagine a Virtual Halo, where you stroll around, chat with other Spartans, Elites, Grunts ... or is it? "Hey, anyone wanna pile in this warthog and go sightseeing?" Maybe it isn't so far-fetched.

With Sony's upcoming PlayStation Home network, and Nintendo working on some sort of a Sims-like Wii virtual world, the virtual experience could grow beyond Second Life and into the console gaming realm.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.