ENG 4U: Virtual Worlds

Yesterday, we had a spirited discussion about a very controversial video game. Today, we will expand this conversation to include virtual worlds like Second Life. While I will show you roughly 1/2 hour of footage, I hope the majority of time will be dedicated to the same kind of discussion we had yesterday.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Second Life is a virtual community that serves a wide range of clients. For example, you can create an avatar and participate in lectures delivered in virtual classrooms by top lecturers from universities around the world. In fact, you can buy a home, start relationships, and completely recreate yourself. It is, indeed, a second life.
  • Remember our discussion of “Gaming Slavery” in China? Some members of the Second Life community are willling to pay real money for virtual benefits.  According to Business Week, one company owns property in Second Life that is worth $250 000.
  • Remember our Marine demo from yesterday? How does completing the same task repeatedly reprogram our brains?
  • Most of you were appalled by the creation of Super Columbine Massacre RPG. I wonder what you will think of the virtual selves of Second Life. Is breaking a moral/social rule in a virtual setting different from breaking the same rule in the real world?
  • Is the appeal of virtual worlds that “we can experience the real world without real world consequences?”
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