Sunday, February 5, 2012

Social Gaming

Joe Sanchez,

I enjoyed reading your article and its description of the progression of online gaming; the way the games and societies have grown and evolving to become more interactive. Obviously this has a lot to do with the advancements of technology; I don't think anyone will try and argue that. But it also has a lot do with the gamers themselves. Without them, the games would still be stocked on the shelves and these game producers would be bankrupt. I liked your example of how TinyMUD "represents one of the first breaks from virtual worlds as games to virtual world as social spaces." These online social spaces are prevalent in games like Second Life. Something I found interesting to note is whether or not Second Life can even be classified as a "game" at this point. There is no true objective; rather, it is literally a social world in which people can converse, purchase items, build cities, or just fly around and sight see. I think what amazed me most about Second Life is the real money aspect to it. The idea that people spend hours and hours and hours in this game, and use their real money to build/purchase things just seems absurd to me. I have even read articles that document the lives of people who live in Second Life. Meaning, the only time they're not in Second Life is when they are sleeping. They make money in Second Life (I do not remember all the details as to how they make enough to sustain a living) and consider this virtual world a full time job. I feel games like this speak to the advancements in technology that are constantly appearing, but also to the dangers of online social worlds. While there is a lot of interaction going on, none of it is face-to-face (or flesh-to-flesh I should say). I could be wrong, but I feel that there is no substitute for legitimate interaction and solely living through these virtual worlds is detrimental to a person's social development.

Josh Brooks

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