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Jun 13 2012

A scene from Habbo. Several avatars cluster around a table containing stylised foods, while one person holds a giant sparkling carrotJust last night, UK’s Channel 4 aired an investigative piece about Sulake’s Habbo Hotel (or just “Habbo”), the social virtual environment for kids.

The investigation alleges (among other things) that sexual predators are using the service to groom children for sex, despite Habbo’s couple of hundred live moderators – and it isn’t the first time these sorts of allegations have been made about Habbo, or about a number of other virtual environments.

Another UK channel (that I won’t name) went so far as to fabricate a scandal involving Second Life a few years ago.

What strikes me about the Habbo incident is how sudden it has been.

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Second Life According to advertise.secondlife.com, the advertising beta will be shut down at the end of this month. Six whole months? Wow, that really flew by.

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The bottom line February’s an awkward sort of a month. Just a little bit shorter than the other months of the year, and it seems to throw everything for a bit of a loop – especially cycles of bills, you’ve probably noticed. Nevertheless, amid all sorts of other scrambling, it hasn’t been a bad month.

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Well, it was a near thing this month, but the blog did even better for January than it did in December, edging December out of its position as the second-best month to-date, and almost topping October as the best month so far.

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