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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Virtual World Workforce Part 2: Real-Life Pitfalls

Re: Virtual World Workforce Part 2: Real-Life Pitfalls
Posted by: Kimberly Hill 2008-01-17 05:46:28
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Virtual worlds such as Second Life are making an impact on how companies conduct employee recruiting and workforce management activities. According to an ever-growing group of experts and companies in the employment business, that impact has the potential to be profound and far-reaching. Not everyone, though, thinks that the path to the virtual world workforce will be filled with happy avatars strewing 3-D rose petals. There are serious hurdles to moving real-world -- or even social-networking-world -- interactions to sites such as Second Life.

Re: Virtual World Workforce Part 2: Real-Life Pitfalls
Posted by: VRWorkplace 2008-01-17 16:04:21 In reply to: Kimberly Hill
I'm actually an employment lawyer and the CEO of VRWorkplace so I have done this kind of work for years. I'm in no way giving legal advice here, but I think the points made in the article are largely correct. That said, I'm much more interested in the role employment law will play in the context of truly virtual working. An easy example that exists today: You hire a greeter to welcome guests at your virtual facility. True enough, you can't discriminate based on physical disability etc, but there are in my opinion larger issues. Where in the world is that greeter physically sitting? Yes, the laws of that jurisdiction will likely apply to your relationship with that person. Will the law of that place consider the relationship to be employment? If so, will wage laws apply? What about benefits laws? Or pension laws? As we move from "playing a game" to inventing a platform for real work (see "Getting Real Work Done in Virtual Worlds" by Forrester) are we being lured into a sort of trap? You can't "hire" someone in the US, for example, and not be subject to some sort of minimum wage. Again, not legal advice, just one man's observations.

Collins is incorrect. Data shows that SL skews older.
Posted by: carbonel 2008-01-17 11:21:25 In reply to: Kimberly Hill
In this article, Christopher Collins suggests that Second Life's "user base skews toward younger and more technologically savvy consumers." Almost all published data on the SL user base contradicts this claim.
For example, I recently conducted a comprehensive survey of more than 800 Second Life residents as part of a study sponsored by France Telecom. We found that approximately 65% of respondents were above the age of 25. In fact, 37% of respondents were above the age of 35. Less than one-fourth of respondents fell within the ages of 19 and 25. Similar findings have been reported consistently by other researchers during the past several years.
What is the basis for Collins' assertion that the user base skews young?
Aaron Delwiche

Re: Virtual World Workforce Part 2: Real-Life Pitfalls
Posted by: malnar 2008-01-17 05:58:41 In reply to: Kimberly Hill
Has Christopher Collins actually spent any time at all "analysing" Second Life? His statement, "...its user base skews toward younger and more technologically savvy consumers" is totally wrong. If he had spend any time on this, he would know that the majority of the user base is older than 35.
I hate Second Life as much as any of the other people that think SL Sucks, but at least get the facts straight! There's no need to make things up.
Yankee Group has been way off the mark, in the past. Not sure I would believe anything they say... especially about Second Life, since it seems to be a reoccurring "get it wrong" topic with them.
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