So I am not really agreeing or disagreeing with your article. Instead I am using it to understand the history of virtual worlds. I myself am only recently involved in the virtual world, Second Life. To be honest, I have trouble understanding what the point of it is. I don't mean for that to be offensive, I have never been into gaming (I hated sims and real life games). I just have enough trouble understanding my own life let alone creating a 'fake' one. I appreciate the clarity you gave in definition of how Active worlds like Second life are not actually considered gaming, but instead social virtual worlds. I always wondered what was the point of things like Second life, what was the goal? But it's about living in a virtual world and interacting with others not completing challenges to win points.
It is interesting how virtual worlds came about. You said the biggest upgrade to gamming came with the creation of TinyMUD in 1989. This allowed players to see one another, but not exactly interact. I could create a shovel but no other players could even touch it. I think it’s crazy how that defined social compared to how interactive players can be now. I think the development of MOOs is what changed virtual interaction forever. It allowed players to explore each other’s creations and interact in environments. It wasn’t as intense as World of War Craft, but at least it was allowing to players to find and work together with each other.