Steganographic information (account ID, a timestamp and the IP address of the current realm) is secretly embedded in World of Warcraft screen shots. Via Schneier.
After starring in First Kid with the immortal Sinbad, Brock Pierce was left wondering what to do with the rest of his life. He decided to set out and make his fortune accumulating and selling items in EverQuest and World of Warcraft.
As Blizzard prepares for the next World of Warcraft expansion, they are updating their server system, BattleNet, to use a real-name identification system called RealID, allowing your friends -- and their friends -- to see your real name. Some like it, some hate it. The system is optional; but today, Blizzard announced that all posts on their official forums will be under the poster's real name. [more inside]
"Virtual Virus Sheds Light on Real-Life Behavior." A researcher at Tufts University's Center for the Modelling of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Nina Fefferman, is studying the behavior of World Of Warcraft players during the recent plague that broke out in Ironforge (discussed on Metafilter here.) But Dr. Fefferman is not the first academic to study MMORPGs seriously. Edward Castronova, an economist, arguably pioneered the field with his 2001 paper Virtual Worlds, in which he argues that the economy in Everquest produced a GNP per capita somewhere between that of Russia and Bulgaria. (He has followed up that paper with many more on similar subjects.)