There are many aspects of present-day society that we wish would no longer exist – racism, homophobia, stereotyping, anger, war, and greed. Every generation seems to attempt to reduce those aspects of society, and even when it is reduced it will always exist at some level. New technologies come and go, with those who invent them believing that their tech will change the world and society as we know it. Sadly, though, their good intentions and hopeful thoughts tend to fall by the wayside over time. Greed takes over their mind and they begin to worry more about the money than their technology’s impact on the culture of society. Those who use these new technologies also bring with them the anger and hatred of real life and make it digital. In my own experience playing online games I have discovered that the society and culture formed on them more or less mirrors real-life society and culture. All the hope that society will change by using all the new technology of today is almost completely lost.
(image from http://30thrones.tumblr.com/)
Take for example the massive MMORPG that takes place in a kind of “Middle Ages” universe, Runescape. A few years ago, I was somewhat addicted to this game and thought that it was worth my time and my constant mouse clicks. In Runescape there are different types of characters – the fighters, the adventurers, the woodcutters, the magicians, the money makers, the hunters, and much more. From the beginning the characters split themselves up into these factions and start to create stereotypes of the other factions. Whatever racism and anger that the user had in real life comes into the world of Runescape. The same can be said about the culture of criminals and illegal activities finding its way onto the game.
(image from Reddit User: Nashy19)
Back when I was playing the game, and just minding my own business fighting in a dungeon, a character approached me and told me I had won a contest. To obtain my prize I was asked to give my password to this character or the prize would be presented to someone else. Back then I was really young and stupid, so I decided to give him my account password and await my prize. I then logged out of my account since I was told my prize would be waiting for me when I logged back in. When I attempted to log back in, though, the other character had signed in as me and stole all of my items and coins. Therefore, there are all of the good and bad aspects of society and culture in the digital world, and it will forever be a mirror on society.