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Under Ball State’s terms of agreement with Avatar Reality, the university will begin to fully operate Blue Mars for non-commercial purposes, expand upon the source code, increase its research and academic initiatives, and enhance the community of Blue Mars. In addition, Ball State will continue to deliver original content on Blue Mars as it has done in the past.

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With Second Life concurrency trending downwards, people are looking harder at the Second Life economy and the Linden Dollar exchange, with some speculating that there is a fairly heavy thumb on the exchange-rate scales at the moment.

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Henk Rogers named CEO of Avatar Reality, inc.

Entrepreneur and Interactive Entertainment Visionary Expands Role at 3D Virtual World Company.

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Virtual environments, like Second Life and Blue Mars, are thoroughly reliant on the strength of their digital economies, with the sale and trade of both virtual and non-virtual goods and services between users forming a constant stream of revenue into which the operator can skim in order to pay the bills for the infrastructure that makes it all actually go.

Seeking to extend those virtual environments into other areas, like mobile devices, is only natural – at least insofar as it is technically possible to do so – and in order to maintain the richness of the experience (as well as maintaining the revenue stream for the operator) the economy needs to tag along in some form.

Apple’s new app store rules aren’t going to make that very easy, however.

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