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Sep 19, 2011



Perhaps the disappointment is due to another form of uncanny valley. Instead of the player noticing the little differences as the graphics get closer to 'real', the player notices how different life is in the virtual world when compared to reality.

During an episode of the West Wing Josh Lyman said, "There comes a day in every man's life, and it's a hard day but there comes a day, when he realizes he's never going to play professional baseball."

Change "play professional baseball" to "be a wizard" and there's your virtual world disappointment.


Actually, the most interesting point Finn makes about VR is economic: "The value of most things — perfume, cars, houses, handbags — is, in fact, largely virtual. Always has been. And don't you, in the $260 jeans, try to argue."

Didn't I read recently that a N.Y. watch manufacturer has deliberately set out to make and market the world's most expensive wrist watch? Not the best, not the most accurate, not the most elegant - just, by a very large figure indeed, the most expensive.


There's plenty of virtual things we just accept as being a normal part of life now. It's possible to communicate with an absurd number of people through social media sites - Second Life is just putting that into a visible format. Having a solid and respected online presence is a quantifiable asset for most businesses now.


Just as in the real world there are pessimists and optomists... just as in the real world, the people who you're able to surround yourself to work and play with will influence your joy doing in doing both.

But as Abraham Lincoln said.. "I think people are about as happy as they set out to be"

--- find a virtual world with large enough numbers that allow you to partner with decent people.. and tools built into those realms to let those people find each other

--- find a virtual world with developers who try their hardest to meter the flow of goods in a way that doesn't create obsolecence of value quickly for all items, yet still finds ways to have some other goal to work towards (novelty item collection and badges of accomplishment help as other quivers)

--- To each their own, but it seems like people who want python bags in the real world are going to have a hard time ever being satified in the RW or in VW's but.. maybe some people don't want to ever feel satisfied or haven't learned that a python bag isn't going to give them more than a fleeting sense of happiness (well, I appreciated high quality door knobs everytime i turn them in my house years later.. so there are exceptions I suppose)


Maybe it's because disappointment is basically a virtual (mental) experience in the first place that it manifests prompted by reality (I'm never going to be a pro baseball player) and by virtuality (I'm never going to be the highest ranked PvPer in this game).


Yes, I think that's it. The trick of multiplayer game design is, how
do you make everyone feel like a hero? PvP is not the way - that's
like sports, in that it may be fun but still, people generally have
to accept in the end that they are not the best.

One possibility may be that people just want to feel at least better
than average. (Surveys consistently show that most people believe
themselves to be better-than-average drivers - which is impossible.)
It may not be hard to reproduce this illusion, making lots of people
feel competent but not superior.

But to truly make everyone feel like the best, in a multiplayer
context, requires either that there are so many parallel
competitions that every player gets to win one of them. Or, you
could add fake AI players, so that all the human players see
themselves as very much the top of the heap. League of Legends could
do this easily, since they have fairly effective bots for every
character class. Just seed the "real" competition with lots of bots
- then every human is a winner.



I think people should just start getting out more. :-)

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