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Jun 18, 2010



:Insert complaint about this virtual world's "achiever-centric" model and the excessive grind.

:Insert reminder that complainant is one of the devs, "so fix it yourself"

... PL MEh Plz?


Good question indeed! Just to be clear - at least for me, when I'm thinking about similarities, differences, linkages between the virtual and the actual or physical (no one term is of course a perfect fit) I don't use "VR" because for lots of people VR is more narrowly linked to the idea of immersive sensory experience. An important topic to be sure, but as you yourself have rightly pointed out, social immersion is if anything more central to experiences of virtuality in the sense of virtual worlds.

So for me the question - aesthetic but of course also political - is what kind of reality do we indeed want to make in terms of online sociality? Or more accurately, what realities, in all kinds of relationship and distinction to other online realities and offline realities as well? As you note humans have been doing this kind of thing in the physical world for a long time, with (to put it mildly) mixed results. The affordances of virtual worlds and other online socialities do permit some interesting new possibilities even while there are continuities too. With regard to virtual worlds I'm always at pains to point out that either extreme of "there's nothing new under the sun" or "it's a total break" is inaccurate. It's a messy and shifting middle to be sure.

Thanks for the post!

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