Elixir creator and digital avatar evangelist, Bruce Damer, believes that a downturn in Virtual Worlds may be leading to a "winter" in the near future. "Is the coming of several new VW platforms going to balkanize a limited usership or grow the user base? In looking at broader scope of user interactivity demographics, will the move of more people to do their primary computing on mobile platforms reduce the number of people using VWs on big screens or put a cap on the growth of the VW market? Is the fact that there are now so many options for real-time representation of people online (Skype, Twitter, etc) means that VWs are always going to struggle for visibility? Is interaction in a VW that much more enriching and valuable than the simpler modalities available in other platforms? Will VWs ever really go mainstream? I continuously hear complaints about VWs not being worth the trouble, especially from people much younger and hipper than me (I am 46) who prefer much lighter weight forms of interaction. What does this portend?"
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