The University of Chicago press, which published his book Synthetic Worlds, the Business and Culture of Online Games, points out that virtual worlds pioneer Edward Castronova has been busy.
Castronova has been working on several new projects at Indiana University. One is the construction of the online space Arden,a virtual world that draws upon Shakespeare's works. Castronova "sees Arden as the first virtual environment among many at Indiana that will serve as a 'petri dish' for large-scale social-science experiments.… Experiments could involve testing basic economic principles, setting up different political systems, communist or capitalist, and comparing how the communities evolve, or doing an ethnographic study that contrasts people from different parts of the world." A test experiment will take place in August.
Wikipedia: "All the world's a stage..."