Monday, February 6, 2012

The Popularity of Gaming

Dear Mr. Sanchez

Your chapter on the social history of virtual worlds was very informative.  I wouldn’t consider myself to be a gamer much at all so this was very interesting to see how and why some of these online worlds exist.  I thought the part where you discussed the five common features Betsy Book provided are key in understanding why so many people participate in things like WoW and Second Life.  The fact that these games are “played” in shared spaces allow people to actually buy into the fact that their avatar or character is in this world.  They don’t see random villains like a video game would provide, but fellow users playing at the same time.  Another key feature is that everything is in real time.  If something is done in the game, they notice it right there and then giving the perception that this world they’re in is actually occurring.  A key component to that is the interactive environment these games deliver.  Users feel that they’re actually apart of the environment and society around them since aspects of the map aren’t just static and unchanging.  Lastly, I think the coolest part of these virtual worlds is that they are persistent worlds.  After people log off, the world they just left is still there being consistently affected by the other users.  This is such an important aspect.  Instead of logging on a game just to beat the next level and to beat the game, these virtual worlds offer so much more.  People can spend so much time playing because there is no main objective, just an entertaining, ever-changing world.

Chris Imperiale

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