My dear middle aged, wonderfully successful avatar of whom i know nothing about. I am addressing you, the avatar as though you are an actual representation of a real life human.. and not just the eombodiment of dashed dreams and jealous fantasies.
You speak to many of us here in the MMO community as if you were way high up on a pedestal. The weapons of Microsoft and Success which you dual wield are very ominous and most likely have enormous crit bonuses. Or do they? I once apologized to you because of an ad homonym attack.. i would so kindly like to retract that apology because i have become very weary of both your blatant ( but in your opinion so well thought out) advertisement of Metaplace, and of the projection of your very limited experiences upon so many others here in the MMO community, which you have so righteously claim to be a mere Fun Factory.
Allow me to start from the begining. You created an avatar here at MMORPG.com and you began your journey through this Fun Factory. Deespite the fact that it lacks the virtual worldiness.. you have assigned yourself numerous attributes in order to enhance your experience here. Success, RL experience, Middle aged, Microsoft employee. If this is such a fun factory.. why assign yourself these traits? Is it part of the fun for you to try to legitimize your words in a forum by lording over people with your "in life" accomplishments?
You reiterated to us many times in your MMOs are NOT Virtual Wolds post, why we play MMO's. This of course was just your reason, but you saw fit to project your reason onto to others (other experienced middle aged vet gamers). It is not a virtual world you said.. but merely a fun factory for those of us who have already experienced enough in life. Then you proceeded to swat away the meaningless remainder of the population by claiming that they must all be people who have not accomplished anything in life, and are seeking refuge inside of a game that should be only a Fun Factory. Dearest JB, you have just made the grandest mistake of all in the MMO world. You have made assumptions about other people realities based on how they behave inside an MMO. The big fish Microsoft complex really seems to be embedded in you. ( i am of course still adressing the Avatar).
To better understand the terminology Virtual World, which you reject, let us first analyze the predicand. World
World- There are many definitions and useages of the word World. The one i would like to call forth is defined as a state of existence.
For example; Egyptians would embalm and mummify pharoahs and their servants/families for their subsequent lives in the Afterworld. Christians also often describe Heaven as the next world. This world has attributed to it, a certain state of existence. It doesn't materially coexist on earth. It may not even temporally coexist. But it does lay claim to at least one type of existence, in our thoughts. Having so defined World as merely a state of existence, let us now add the predicate Virtual. A Virtual World can be now written as a Virtual State of Existence.
The predicate virtual is by far more interesting. Take the following sentence. Excessive hunting led to the virtual extinction of the buffalo species. Virtual in this sense is used as an existence which almost came to fruition. It is an existance which is not reality, but which almost became a material reality. In the world of computers, the word VIRTUAL becomes at once more involved as well as more interesting. At first, virtual was used to describe something which did not really exist. Memory for example. Virtual memory was a process carried out by a computer which simulated material memory, but was not actually materially existant on the hardware of the computer. But even more so.. lets look at the word Virtual Library. Yes.. the books contained in a virtual library do not materially exist. But can you, JB7394, seriously claim that the words and novels and pages contained in a virtual library have no form of existence whatsoever? I would hope not. It is hopefully clear that a virtual library is as much a library as the local one in which you can pick up a book and read it by your fireplace at night.
What I wish to show is that MMO's are in fact what you claim they are not. They are Virtual Worlds. They are virtual existences propagated by computers, in which avatars can come together to do a variety of things.. be it kill others, kill monsters, or even just chat and discuss the rise and fall of Microsoft share prices. We, as materially existing beings choose to participate in these virtual worlds, and in doing so, we are giving them the existence which you so vehemently deny. Yes, maybe they are refuges for people not performing so well in "life". Yes they are probably places to just relax and have fun.. ( which by the way is just another form of taking refuge from the seriousness of your real life). Yes they are all these things and much more. Why? Because they are virtual worlds, risen from nothing and given definitions by our very thoughts and actions whilst we participate in them.
However.. for a real world man of materials and stature as yourself. You maynot understand. To which i must simply ask; are you not bartering your real world things for the ability to participate? When we entertain ourselves in the "real world", do we not spend money in order to have fun? Does that fun not also enjoy the predicate of existance? You can also look at it from the other way. Many people today make lots of money because of these virtual worlds. Some sell in-game gold for small amounts of money, other companies make thousands of dollars selling premade Avatars. In both instances, virtuality is being bartered for material money.. which is then bartered for any number of things.. sex, drugs, cars, or.. maybe just more virtual participation time.