Dear Edward Castronova,
Just as you mentioned in the beginning of your chapter, I am one of those people "who could care less" about these virtual world video games. As I went on, I didn't turn into more of a believer, but more of a skeptic. Honestly, the whole idea of virtual worlds taking over frightens me. Your one line that stated "realms will one day be preferred to Earth by who knows how many people" really stood out to me. Sure, this virtual world crap is great for some people, but for anyone to prefer it over the real world is insane. I agree it is amazing what people can do with these virtual worlds, but it starts to cross the line when a fake world is used more than the real world. All of this attention being brought to it is lessening the existence of being in the real world. Technology has started to take over since the 2000's. But now people living and working through technology in these virtual worlds is too much. People can't spend their whole lives hiding behind their computer in a virtual world. Not only is it ridiculous, but it is unhealthy. It also starts to reduce individuals face-to-face communication skills.
I read Linden Labs article about IBM's conference in Second Life. I thought it was amazing how they put it together, but personally, I would prefer the real life experience. What satisfaction does an individual get out of sitting at their computer drinking "fake" alcohol and jet skiing on a computerized beach through a virtual world. I'm sure it is fun to new users because they have never experienced it before, but how could anyone prefer these experiences in a virtual world to the real world? They do not match up. Virtual worlds are cool and all, but only for a short time to escape. The real world is real for a reason. People need to stop being so invested in virtual worlds and give themselves a little pinch to realize they are living in the real world, not a computerized one.