Both articles from this week seem to be very vague yet significant assumptions that challenge our stability in the future. Virtual worlds can be bad or they can be good – I mean hey, who will actually ever know until it happens though, right?
As a DCIM minor, we should all know how vital virtual presence has become to businesses for marketing, funding and budgeting purposes, convenience, immediacy and accessibility purposes, and for several other professional areas. It is already a reality how virtual tools and virtual worlds positively and exponentially affect the economy. Synthetic Worlds highlights these capital investments that are made possible from online existence. It is in this class, Self and Society, that we discuss the more intimate relations through the ‘play’ factor. Throughout the semester we have studied the social and entertainment aspects of virtual worlds. We have discussed the significance of acceptance on virtual worlds because its users create all of its content, so anything is welcome, supported and promoted. In refreshing this concept, it is important to point out that there are few laws online (I cant name any besides copyright and plagiarism) and hardly any regulations online (regulations that are abided by at least). “A fully legitimate government requires that the governed have quite a bit of input onto what happens. That input is provided only weakly by systems of informed consent, such as one-click Terms of Service Agreements.” (Castronova, 261) There are situations and regulations/rights that govern situations in real life that should be implied into second life scenarios such as property rights/laws but what ‘ruler of all the virtual land’ can come up with a constitution. Will there be wars that have to be fought to enact this constitution? It is something to think about. In addition, we have not yet established distinguished clear separations between professional and personal has led to a clash of interests and the question of privacy. Rather, we have certainly increased its ambiguity through convergence. Creating policies that will separate the two will go against everything that we have already become accustom to thus far. It would be uncomfortable and would take years of retraining and reeducating.
After finishing the readings, it seemed that the worst thing that could go wrong in terms of social aspects would be the complete dependency on virtual worlds and the loss of physical ability. It strikes me as completely terrifying that people have such a huge focus and dependency on these worlds. We have yet to figure out efficient or successful policies to instill and are far from reaching a compromise amongst all publishers and users online. There so many beneficial terms – those we have been taught throughout these DCIM courses as mentioned before, in addition to the economical and social assets we are learning in this course but no way to ensure its safety from dangers. For instance, Second Life seemed to have been a prelude to the Meemaw theory that Synthetic Worlds mentioned. Relations would be much more attainable and the world would run at an instantaneous pace. It is an idealistic world that one has happy dream about. This world is great because it is a fantasy world – it makes it appealing to the general public. What we don’t see or take into consideration is hackers and online take-overs. It can be quite misleading.