Sort of apropos of Ted's post, take a look at this short essay in The Guardian: "To come out as a gamer is still to risk looking a social n00b: Even with sympathetic friends, we still speak low when we speak games."
This certainly is not true everywhere, and certainly is not true among communities of gamers. We don't tend to speak low on this blog about games, and there are plenty of gaming blogs out there. So I'm curious as to how this maps onto your personal social perceptions. In what particular circles do you "speak low when you speak games"? Work? Family? School? Where isn't it cool to "come out" as a gamer?
Byron Reeves and J. Leighton Read have written the best book to date on games and work. Business people still seem hung up on the virtualization of the office when in fact WoW increases group productivity not because it is virtual but because it is a game. Reeves and Read try to right the ship. They describe practical ways for using game design to make work better: Not just for the bosses, but for employees too. Imagine if the workplace were no longer boring. That's where we're headed, and these guys are great guides.
But let's put it in perspective. In three months the number one social game on Facebook has gone from zero to over 50 million players. Not registrations, but actual unique monthly players (about 20 million daily uniques).
So, yesterday, USA Today noted the same. Zynga's Farmville is at 56M:
By way of background: about a year ago, W&L held a symposium entitled Protecting Virtual Playgrounds: Children, Law, and Play Online. Lots of TerraNovans were there. The panelists gave some really great papers, which we turned into an issue of the Washington & Lee Law Review (that issue goes to press this month). And that's a good thing, because the papers were ready when Congress asked the FTC to report on the potential availability of adult materials to kids in virtual worlds. (The FTC's report is due out in early December.) More on my personal paper, which ended up with the title Virtual Parentalism, after the fold.