Virtual Worlds Conference Bans Utherverse From Panels

NEW YORK - Despite being asked to speak on several panels at the 2008 Virtual Worlds conference, Utherverse creator and CEO Brian Shuster has been barred from participating, due to the content of his virtual adult 3D social networking site. 

The conference focuses on virtual-world industries and aims to help developers and businesses understand "how to monetize their intellectual property using virtual worlds," its website says.

"It's a very narrow-minded viewpoint that disregards the history of how adult content has driven technology innovation, and that, in turn, disregards the reality that the vast majority of virtual world users are over 18 years old," Shuster told Marketwire. "This is particularly frustrating because we are Second Life's top competitor, and they get red-carpet treatment despite the heavy focus on adult entertainment within their virtual world."

Shuster, a regular panelist at other trade shows, said he was amazed by the obvious exclusion of adult-related themes in surveys given by other speakers and panelists at Virtual World.

Shuster said adult content has become a taboo subject at the conference, despite the fact that panelists at a Virtual Worlds marketing seminar said 80 percent of virtual-world users are at least 18 years old.

At the 2007 ideaCity conference in Toronto, show sponsors reportedly heckled the developer of Red Light Center for "sugarcoating" a discussion about the future of adult content in virtual worlds.