In the Bloomfield article, I found it very interesting how he breaks down and critiques the differences between different online games, and how the gamers and their goals shape their worlds and economies. Bloomfield states that, “Virtual worlds already have real economies, whether game developers want them to or not. While most existing virtual worlds have very unrealistic economies, this is driven by the goals of the game developers (entertainment or fostering virtual business), not by a fundamental limitation of the technology.” Examples that he uses are World of Warcraft and Second Life. The economies are very different in these 2 games, because the goals of the gamers are vastly different. In WoW, players try to level up and complete quests, which makes the game much more goal-oriented, whereas Second Life doesn’t really have rules or guidelines to follow; the players can choose to play the game virtually any way that they want.
I think that this is interesting, because online games give people many more options on how to live their lives (in this case, their character or avatar’s lives). In the real world, we have obligations and responsibilities. However, on games like Second Life, you can go off and spend an indefinite amount of time creating new items, socializing, partying all night, build skyscrapers, etc. I think that it gives people an escape from the real world and allows them to be creative and live out impossible or incredible adventures.
In a way, I think these kinds of games bring out our inner child. I know when I was a kid I would spend hours and hours playing with my legos, building these fantastic elaborate fantasy worlds with my own characters, story lines, etc. Or I would make flipbooks with notepads, draw comics, etc. Anything that allowed me to be creative and use my imagination. I think that online games are so appealing for many teenagers and adults, is because even though we have many more responsibilities and obligations that we need to do (unlike when we were kids), deep down we still have this innate childish desire to use our imaginations and experience something magical; something impossible in our world.