Sister web site GameCareerGuide.com has a new book review
of Edward Castronova’s fictional Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality
Castronova looks into the not-so-distant future to imagine a new, and possibly realistic, world. Here’s an excerpt from the review by Raymond Hutchins:
“Famous for his stint as a video game expert on
60 Minutes and for his groundbreaking book
Synthetic Worlds, self-described video game scholar Edward Castronova does what academics are not supposed to do: He writes a piece of easy-to-understand fiction.
His new book,
Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality, can be called fiction because it’s about the future, 20 to 40 years from now. Castronova describes a collision between virtual worlds and the real world that results in a better world. I’m not sure I totally buy that particular vision, but more on that shortly.
Technologically speaking, the world we inhabit today is far different from the world we knew only five years ago. Computers are far more powerful and connected by faster and wider pipes. In the gaming world, that has enabled a move from isolated desktop-based gaming to vast, inter-connected virtual worlds.
Today, at any one time, tens of millions of people dwell and interact in virtual worlds like
World of Warcraft and Second Life. Within a year or so, that number (worldwide) will regularly be in the hundreds of millions. Within ten years, the number could conceivably be counted in the billions. That translates into a large percentage of the human population choosing to spend a great deal of time every day in virtual worlds, as opposed to the ‘real’ world.
This shift represents a human exodus from the real world to the virtual world, a vast migration. Why are people choosing to do this and what are the implications of such a migration? What will it mean for our families, societies, and economies? What will it mean for our personal relationships and our other relationships, including the one with our government? Government? Yes, this relationship in particular will be affected, as Castronova sees it.”
Read the complete book review