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NYTimes says children's virtual playgrounds are serious business


It's that's time again, gentle reader: the New York Times are taking a look at the financial side of virtual worlds, and analyzing the potential for growth within the market. But instead of focusing on Second Life or World of Warcraft, it's ... WebKinz and Club Penguin.

Despite my mental age, until now I've known the bare minimum about either. But now they're big business, and the virtual worlds market is entirely under their thrall. Or so the article claims. There are a few flaws in the article, but there's plenty of food for thought -- could virtual worlds overtake television in the children's entertainment sector? Is there big money in virtual worlds aimed at kids? Or, like the conference last month discussed, how will this influence our children?

Nobody really knows, I suspect. Analysts are notorious for being unable to predict what children want, beyond jumping on the bandwagon when it comes into town -- it's not like the 'adult' virtual worlds market, where further growth is guaranteed. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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