Wharton Discusses Virtual Business

Dan Hunter posted an entry over on Terra Nova to a piece carried on the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school website. For those unaware, Wharton is arguably the best business school in the world (U.S. News and World Report ranked them third in a recent survey), so this attention will go a long way to raising some eyebrows within the upper levels of some business communities I imagine (about damn time, too). From their article:

While the size of the market is debatable, experts agree that virtual economies are expanding rapidly and warrant more attention. “It’s really amazing that this hasn’t gotten more attention,” says Kendall Whitehouse, senior director of information technology at Wharton. “You can learn a lot from these worlds.”

The only problem with this article is that – to me at least – it really doesn’t go very deep. The issues go beyond what’s discussed; issues I’ve raised on this blog and which include the eventual merging of PLM software and virtual worlds, as well as the real world fabrication of virtual world content and the intellectual property problems this causes. But for now, it’s good to see that Wharton and perhaps others are noticing. Hopefully there will be an increasing stream of articles that clue in the greater business community to the amazing changes headed our way.

3 thoughts on “Wharton Discusses Virtual Business

  1. I think we’re seeing the same thing from different perspectives. For me, the merging of PLM software with virtual world and game technology is the most clear evidence that the two kinds of work are really the same thing. Whether someone makes their money in the real stockmarket or a virtual one, the time spent is the same. Similarly, when people become more aware that they can make real products from virtual game models (possible now but not commonplace), then other real work/virtual work lines will blur. But this article and others only scratch the surface. And the most interesting (and difficult) issues are below the surface.

  2. Agreed. I can’t decide whether the journalists aren’t interested in scratching or if the general public isn’t ready to see beyond “gee whiz” yet.

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