Sunday, 19 December 2010

FLEEING TO VIRTUAL WORLDS

I like to think that some of my readers are interested in what goes on behind, and beyond, games such as LOTRO, and I'd like to point those readers at a fascinating online essay by Edward Castranova, who teaches telecommunications at Indiana University. Entitled "An Exodus Recession", it's posted here, on Castranova's equally highly recommended blog, "Terra Nova: A Blog about Virtual Worlds". It's a relatively long text, so I'll just quote the opening paragraph:

"The economy continues to move slowly and economists seem as uncertain as ever about the causes and what to do. Months ago, I began to wonder – could this possibly be the first “exodus recession”? In my first book I sketched out the idea. Suppose economic activity moves from the real world into the virtual world. Human happiness is unaffected or even goes up, however, the goods that produce the happiness are now produced and consumed in a virtual environment rather than the real one. Measurements of economic activity, being all based in the real economy, would begin to show weakness. I argued that contemporary political and economic control systems do not tolerate much weakness, thus, there might well be some sort of crisis in the real world, for no good reason, simply because production and consumption was going “off the books” and into virtual environments. One term for this would be an "exodus recession" - an economic downturn caused by the movement of human attention and energy into virtual environments. Are we in an exodus recession right now?"

"The movement of human attention and energy into virtual environments" - ring any bells? Read the rest of the essay.

1 comment:

Dovinsia said...

You have some interesting stuff on your blog, mate! I just became your follower and I'm sad to see that you don't post so often anymore. :(

LotRO is free to play now as you might already know, for I'm not sure if you're still playing or not. And I also heard that there are a great deal more people coming to play it again. New and old ones as well.

Anyway. I have a blog too and I would love to hear what you think about it if you get this comment. It's about writings and drawings of a world similar to Tolkien's world. It's at:
thespiritlord.blogspot.com

Check it out and I would love to see more of your posts aswell! Way to go man, great blog!