Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, September 01, 2008

Targeting the Youth-Oriented Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds Management released the latest findings of its analysis of youth-oriented virtual worlds. There are now over 150 virtual worlds operating or in development with a focus on the youth market (18-and-under).

That number is up from just over 100 in April. The complete Virtual Worlds Management Youth Worlds List, including the operational status, demographic focus and detailed news coverage on each virtual world can be found online.

The news comes in advance of the second annual Virtual Worlds Expo taking place September 3-4, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

In all there are 95 youth worlds currently live. Another 68 are in concepting, development, or testing phases. That is up from 53 in development in April. Many worlds target a wide range of demographics, sometime as broad as ages 5 to 18.

The tween category (considered ages 8 to 12) leads with 88 worlds live or in development (up from 62 in the April study), followed closely by kids worlds (ages 7 and under) with 72 worlds (up from 52 in April) and then teens (ages 13-18 years old) with 60 worlds (up from 44 in April). Those that overlap are counted once in each category.

"As younger users continue to grow, one of two things will happen," said Joey Seiler, Editor of VirtualWorldsNews.com and the author of the report.

"We'll either see a boom of interest in developing virtual worlds for the teen and older sets as we already have for the younger generation, or we'll see the demographics of these youth worlds trend upward in age while other worlds rush in to fill the space at the bottom for the new young users."