Each week, 35 million to 50 million people worldwide abandon reality for virtual worlds. They create a virtual body, work virtual jobs, and make virtual friends and family. And as online communities like SecondLife, EverQuest, and MySpace attract more members, the lines between the real and the imaginary become blurry. After all, in these virtual realities, you can build houses, make and sell works of art, earn real money, and get married and divorced. On web sites like eBay, people sell virtual clothes and rent virtual property for real cash, for a total of nearly $800 million worth each year.
©2008 Tim Guest; (P)2008 Blackstone Audo, Inc.
"Rich and colourful....an important mapping of a new social frontier." (Guardian)
Started off a bit slow in the first couple chapters - it seemed like just a personal record of the experiences in virtual worlds, but then really gets into the culture of these games when he digs into stories of corporate espionage in Eve Online, his experience with a mafia boss within Second Life, the slaughter of a funeral ceremony in World of Warcraft, how Second Life helps persons with disabilities in real life, how sex translates into the virtual space, its real world value from the virtual economies, and when he meets the 'King of the World' of Lineage II in South Korea. I found it a very useful gathering of interesting happenings & cultural shifts in virtual worlds - I enjoyed it more with each chapter. :) Useful to people just learning about Virtual Worlds, and enjoyable to those that are already familiar with them.
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