Monday, February 27, 2012

Virtual Worlds and business

Dear Bloomfield,
At first I wasn’t sure how you were going to conduct a similar life trial, but I didn’t realize how there were real economies in these virtual worlds.  I felt like your first experience with the hunter on WOW, Ramat, was very basic, yet there were real elements of a business structure.  The auction houses act as almost pawn shop. Players can either sell what they don’t need or buy what they do.  It is simple, but the structure for economy.  I think your SL experience was much like mine, very confusing. I actually didn’t know about Help Island, so I have a feeling I’ll be visiting there very shortly.  I also found it interesting how different people responded to you when you were a female avatar.  It sounds like you were completely ignored as a male, but offered clothes and conversation for being female.  I guess even in Second Life there is a real difference in gender. In a few ways I understand how virtual worlds can be used to test hypotheses, but in general I don’t really agree.  I think it’s a way to get an idea of how people might respond, but it’s biased.  It is looking at a certain demographic of people who are interested in virtual worlds, not the general public. However since the goal of the Startup 2.0 is to involve gamers, this sort of platform is perfect.  As you said many of the players are participants in more than one virtual world, so that would most likely be the correct place to look for data. Good luck!

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