I am of the belief that online virtual worlds and video games will continue to expand and gain popularity into the not so distant future. There really is just no way around it. These online worlds offer individuals so much now that they almost rely on them to live their daily lives. They use these online worlds to accomplish and achieve things that they may never have the chance to do in the real world. “Using synthetic bodies, they can learn to do many things that are ordinarily difficult to learn to do using Earth body” (Castranova, p.253) For people who may not be involved in these different online worlds, it is difficult to see why they are so important to most people.
I have never been a fan of online games or worlds. I personally believe that they distill people’s views of reality and make it seem like real life is never good enough. I think it is important for people to have a hobby or passion, whatever it might be. However, I believe that programs like Second Life hurt people more than it helps them. These programs promote communication over a keyboard and into a computer screen. It is almost impossible for individuals who use these online worlds to communicate with people face to face, simply because they do not know how to. I believe that as these programs become even bigger, the ability for people to communicate with one another will decrease significantly.
My favorite example of this occurred when I interviewed for an internship I eventually received. The woman I was interviewing with commented on how she thought I was a very good communicator, even in person. She then told me about another individual who she interviewed, who sounded both kind and personable through email. However in the face to face interview, the person turned out to be somewhat of a recluse, not knowing how to speak professionally in an interview type setting. I believe that this is a common occurrence now, simply because people rely on these online worlds and programs to communicate with others.
I can see however, how programs like Second Life are good for some individuals. These programs give people an outlet to explore worlds that they may never see in the real world. I know that when I was doing my field trips, I wanted to visit places that I knew I would rarely see in the real world. I understand that these programs give people another way in which they can communicate with others, however I just don’t believe that people should rely on these online programs, and that is where I feel our society is heading.