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Gaming communities, games, virtual worlds, and social networking are on a collision course -- in three to five years, we'll be living it. Who gets to shape that world, those worlds, our worlds?

Author: shava

Is Second Life a game?

Posted by shava Wednesday August 29 2007 at 2:39AM
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On's games list, you can find a couple games who don't usually identify as games.  If you go among a group of SL "residents" and ask if they are playing a game, most of them will tell you "Second Life isn't a game."

So what is it that makes a "virtual world" different from a "game" MMO? 

Argument 1:  user created content -- refutation, Eve Online.  If space is about the only thing in Eve that's there before we log in, and land is about the only thing in SL, this isn't it.

Argument 2:  victory conditions are not defined by the game programmer -- Eve again -- you can get rich, you can explore, you can hang out and dis each other.  Seems like about the same things either place.  Admittedly, the sex animations are better in SL, but the costumes and "dancing" are pretty sleek in Eve too.

Is Second Life less of a game, or is it just a collection of games -- roleplaying games (which most admitted games do rather poorly in multiplayer mode), financial games, social games, fashion games, dating games, dance games, collaborative games, serious games and silly games.

Personally, I'd tend to say my first life is a game.  I'm an entrepreneur.  I've been active in politics, and in policy changing nonprofits.

Is LinkedIn (a business networking site) a game if you are trying to increase either the reach or the quality of your connections -- or trying for that ideal of increasing both?

So, I believe, if we look at how people think about these games, how people use them, and how they conjoin people, or help people play with identity, or help them learn, waste time, refresh themselves, take out frustrations -- where are the real differences?


dippitydodah writes:

There is no real difference, just a different playerbase usually.   Some people play second life like a game, some run it like a buisness.. same with Eve.

I'd say the goldfarmer in Wow spends his time in a virtual world rather than a game, because he's not playing, he's working. 

So think the line is usually drawn at what the player is there for, or motives of the game design.   Games are usually made with the intent and design around gameplay mechanics and fun.   

Virtual worlds are usually places where fun isn't the main outcome..whatever that motive is, making money... getting your rocks off or getting a false sense of accomplishment by establishing yourself in another world.  

all in all tho, games can be virtual worlds, virtual worlds can be games just depends on the person and what they want from it.



Wed Aug 29 2007 7:36AM Report
Infinitie writes:

I noticed that you used EVE Online as an example for refuting Second Life. Maybe you're approaching the subject from the wrong direction. Have you thought that, just maybe, Second Life and Eve Online BOTH fall under a category other than our typical game? Perhaps they can both be a new genre-- something around simulation.

Thu Aug 30 2007 3:59PM Report writes:
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