The Synthetic Worlds article was very fascinating. The line, “a synthetic world that grows together with the outer world like two vines on a tree, each one imposing more and more development on the other year by year” absolutely blew my mind. And the more and more I think about it, the more it makes sense. In other post that I did, I compared the universe to the Internet. How fitting is it that humans eventually created the Internet; a complex, interconnected and unimaginably infinite amount of space where information and energy is processed, created and passed from one receiver to the next (sounds a bit like our universe, doesn’t it?). The universe is all we have ever known—to me it makes sense that humans would eventually create a virtual or synthetic version of it that is smaller and more comprehendible.
(Taken from: http://antifan-real.deviantart.com/art/Grand-Universe-17189369)
The author also mentions the “magic circle,” which I thought was another interesting point. The magic circle is the realm in which games take place. It is where the unimaginable becomes imaginable, with heroes and villains and quests and so forth. I think the reason the author brings this up is because it infers the points he is trying to make. Synthetic/virtual worlds do not necessarily need to be a bad thing for our society. A lot of people give video games and virtual worlds a lot of flack because they somewhat inhibit the growth and development of social abilities and interaction, and they encourage a somewhat sedentary lifestyle. However, they do encourage creativity, and invigorate and create sense of thrill and importance for the user.
(Taken from: http://www.techpolicydaily.com/internet/10-myths-realities-broadband-internet-usa/)
The world we live in is very limited in terms of what is possible and what is not possible. We cannot fly, we do not get respawns or do-overs, magic is not real, etc. In virtual worlds, though, they are. I think the point of the article is to play devil’s advocate and say: are virtual worlds such a bad thing? They allow us to do things that previously only existed in our imaginations and our dreams. Although they are not real, they do create real ties and real emotions. I have played video games that were so moving or so powerful, that they had a very substantial impact on my life. One of which was Bioshock Infinite. The message and storyline were so incredible that it changed my perspective on life a bit. Another game that I played (as a kid) was Final Fantasy X. The ending was so sad, and the game makes the player so attached to the characters that it breaks your heart if something bad happens to them. I think that just because virtual worlds are not real, doesn’t mean that they are bad. They have real impacts on real lives, and I think that is what is important, and that they can have impacts or effects on people’s lives just as much as something that is “real”. Here is a quote I really like from South Park that I think fits in well to the argument of this article: “Just because it is imaginary doesn’t mean it isn’t real” (ImaginationLand pt. 3).