World of Warcraft: Is It a Game? - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com
Great article in the upcoming Newsweek on Virtual Worlds, focusing primarily on Warcrack, and social implications thereof. Kind of relevant to me, my best friend from high school and I just did a 20 minute quest together, and I really look forward to the potential of this means of interaction. We live a couple hours apart, and interact towards a common goal is just a much pleasant way to keep a friendship alive, than email, telephone, or whatever. I've played with friends from work before, but it's different when your playing with someone you don't get the oppurtunity to see much.
Edward Castronova sees all this as an early indicator of what will become a vast participation in synthetic worlds, with fuzzier and fuzzier lines between virtual and physical realms. "In 20 or 30 years the technology will be here to create incredibly more realistic and immersive worlds," he says. "There will be a world that fits the fantasy of any life you want to lead." Those deep into WOW, of course, are already living that future. "Yes, it's just a game," says Joi Ito. "The way that the real world is a game."