Justice Comes to Mobile Virtual Worlds as Cellufun Launches Courthouse and Jail for Offending Users
NEW YORK – AUGUST 20, 2008 – Cellufun, the “world’s mobile playground” and community-driven mobile games portal, has announced the Cellufun Courthouse and Cellufun Jail. The two virtual pillars of justice will allow its five million member community to police itself, bringing community offenders to justice while ensuring an environment free of malicious behavior and inappropriate content. The Courthouse and Jail are the latest part of the Cellufun virtual community, which already has a virtual mall, currency and commerce.
Justice in PC-based virtual worlds is keeping pace with all other aspects of virtual communities. Real world law firms have collected many thousands of dollars in real money handling trademark issues in online communities. Additionally, some virtual world disputes have ended up in real world courts, as was the case in a real estate dispute between a Second Life user and the game’s publisher. The publisher eventually terminated the user’s account, and the case was settled out of (real world) court. Cellufun’s new judicial system now brings the first justice system to mobile virtual worlds.
With the new system, users can flag posts, blog entries, or other user communication as inappropriate. If enough people flag a user, that person is “indicted” and is processed by the newly instated justice system. Once indicted, experienced players called “citizens” – and never anyone who initially flagged the user for bad behavior – enter the courthouse and are chosen at random to sit on a jury. The jury is presented the questionable material as evidence, and at the same time the accused can defend himself on his profile home page.
After reviewing the case, the jurors cast anonymous votes for guilty/not guilty and vote on a sentence. If found guilty, the player is barred from communicating with the community (though the player can still play games) for a period of time determined by the jurors and by prior convictions. Once sentenced, the player’s home page avatar is shown behind bars and in prison garb.
Cellufun, whose award-winning games have contributed to its growth rate of over 500% in the last year, has 5 million unique users who consume more than 80 million page views every month.
“When you’ve got a community as big as ours, there’s a need to uphold a mutually agreeable value system,” said Stephen Dacek, COO and co-founder of Cellufun. “With our new justice system, our community now has a self-ruling mechanism that can grow and evolve at its own pace.”
“The Courthouse and Jail add a new element to our virtual world,” adds Cary Torkelson, VP of Research at Cellufun. “This system serves to engage the community on a whole new level. It serves a vital purpose in keeping Cellufun a fun, vibrant, and safe place to play games with friends.”
Cellufun’s community games are already highly integrated into the rest of its virtual world, where users create avatars and gain “CelluPoints” through their gameplay. The CelluPoints serve as currency in the virtual world, which includes the CelluMall virtual mall where members can spend the CelluPoints buying virtual goods.
Cellufun is a community-driven mobile gaming portal providing free games that encourage social interaction between players. People from all over the world on all mobile networks access the site in their own language to compete, collaborate, chat and share game hints in their pursuit of real and virtual prizes.
In addition to producing award-winning original games, Cellufun partners with major media companies such as AOL to deliver world-class branded entertainment. It also works with agencies and advertisers to design customized mobile marketing solutions that provide an unprecedented level of brand interaction and immersion.
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