“Synthetic Worlds,” by Edward Castranova is a perfect article for me to read in particular, because it helps me answer a question for my capstone research. I am studying virtual games, and why they blow up. What makes these games out there, so popular, and so profitable? Why are people caring so much to spend their time and money? And how can I take these theories and implement them in a game I want to create for a greater cause than just entertainment. Castranova stresses the amount of money some of these virtual games are making due to the idea of RMT. People pay actual dollars for extra bonuses in the game they are playing. For example, my boyfriend is extremely obsessed with this game on his phone called “Simpsons, Tapped Out” the objective of this game is to build a community that was once destroyed. In order to make your community fully built you need to  keep earning points, and of course a quicker option is to just purchase points to keep building. Now, the question is, why does my boyfriend care so much to keep building this community? What makes it so fun? Why does he wake up at 6 a.m just play it? Drives me nuts! Like Castranova stated in his article, players like interacting with one another, and also virtual games give an opportunity for people to teach and train others. For example, in Second Life, people were using this application to have professional meetings, and also for creating new communities with another vision of society.  There are more options for being creative, and being able to express your imaginative fantasy world in a virtual world. Back to the simpsons game example, what sparks his interest in picking the game up is that it gives him the freedom to build his community, but what keeps him playing and keeps his interest is the game is based on time. If you collect points in a certain time period then that helps the player get more buildings, and accessories for his community. Another example that I found relatable to the addictive gamer, is my Doctor that I work for started obsessing over Candy Crush, and I told her “let me know when you start paying for extras?” Her response was “I will never spend money on a phone game!” Im sure you all know where I am going with this. Next time I walked into work she had paid for extras. The reason for this is because people love to solve puzzles and get to the next level. The incentive to keep caring to play is because one already spends so much time getting to where they are, they almost have to spend the dollar to continue. The amount of real money trade a game gets is where one can rate the success of the game. 

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