Monday, February 6, 2012

Virtually Living

Dear Joe Sanchez,

I enjoyed reading your article, "A Social History of Virtual Worlds", it provided an interesting viewpoint on the history of virtual gaming and online virtual communities. The five common features of a virtual world was also interesting to read about. Thinking of how online virtual communities have grown overtime is extremely interesting because it goes to show how far technology is coming. Through the use of online communities like Second Life and online gaming through Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games like World of Warcraft, users are finding new ways to interact with one another. These virtual worlds have served as a meeting place for real users to communicate with each other. The shared space between users allows virtual avatars to represent real human beings whilst in a virtual environment. Through the advancement of technology we can now create avatars the almost look exactly like our physical representation. The idea of text based gaming is so far off from where technology is currently. Now, we can communicate through, text, video, and voice communication software.

Second life is really interesting because it isn't a game, although there are some game aspects inside the world. What it truly is, is a virtual space for real humans to interact and essentially take on a "second life." Some users take this as an opportunity to reinvent themselves and revamp their avatars to be what they think represents them, whether it's human, animal, or object. Through personal experience, I know that MMORPG's allow random strangers the ability to collaborate and communicate to accomplish a task. And for that, I think virtual worlds have served an interesting purpose. As for the future, I can see virtual worlds continue to do nothing but expand and become more advanced.

-Keith M.

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