Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

ps3, second life, virtual worlds, etc.

, posted: 12-Mar-2007 10:09

reading recently about sonys annoucement regarding the PS3 home, its made me think,

what is the attraction to having another virtual world? in this day and age when we already have effectively two universes, one which is the internet, the other is the real world.

I find it strange and curious that the relative anonymity of the internet provides for much bolder actions and much more forward action and opinionated statements, that in normal life you would never make, some of which you would never think, purely because of social norms and standards.

However with the advent of the internet and virtual worlds such as second life, and presumably Sony's "Home" will further the trend, there are their own rules and regulations, as well as social norms and standards.

the paradigm shifts with virtual worlds like this because, well they are not games as such, unlike other online addictions such as World of Warcraft and Everquest (also known as EverCrack and Eversmack due to its addictive nature) as they don't have an imbedded goal,

your character doesn't "level" you can't go into the wilderness and make your character more powerful or anything like that, instead you gain prestige and reknown purely through actions and social interactions.

It is a lament cried by many of the older generations that we know all these people in the world and yet more often than not we don't know our own neighbours.

this is often true, I think part of it is fear, as you don't wish to approach your neighbours as you could cause offence or problems, and that could escalate, especially as more and more people are losing that face to face Human - touch.

so we can accept that no problem there. but the interesting thing is these new communities, often they are taking time away from families, partners and real life.

so what is the answer? well in many cases the partners will share an account, play at the same time, or they split up.

All the news is not totally bleak, with the advent of the though reading game controller, it will not be long before we have a fully immersive experience that totally engages people to the point it will feel as if they are fully interacting with another person,

hopefully this will enable the relearning of social abilities, however I feel it will also completely change the way our society works.

lets face it, if you are in a paperless office - why could you not also go to work in a virtual office? have virtual meetings, never actually leave home, but work a long hard day.

there will be an ever increasing need however for skilled labour, and tradespeople, because the robotic technology we have is yet to reach a point where it can replace trades.

but I'm sure we will get there eventually.

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Comment by barf, on 12-Mar-2007 14:03

thie idea behind virtual worlds like Secondlife is found in literature long pre-dating the technology that gives it existance. Neal Stephenson's book 'Snowcrash' is a cyber-thriller fiction novel where hackers in the 'metaverse' are superior to the normal users and do battle, entertain themselves among other (arguably) human things (the google earth we know and love today was also in this book). So Secondlife is a hackers playground to many and a glorified chatroom to others. But it's not limiting itself to that, there are Cisco, MCSE, etc training courses done in the Metaverse and SL is actually a good collaboration platform. Some ppl I've met in-world seem very detached from reality however, and it is addictive because of it's novelty. For the most part it's porn, griefers, furries, bugs and lag. Just more of the Internet..

Comment by SunKissed, on 12-Mar-2007 22:06

I agree with Barf , how ever some people have been living this concept of logging into a virtual world to do a hard days work for a number of years already in a game called Entropia Universe,this game has a real cash economy but unlike SL it has no porn or grievers,much more game like.Still I dont see these games practical for consoles yet.

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