Game or Not to Game? That’s the question …
players confuse a virtual world with a game, simply because they
often have a game history and play games offline and online. Although
games have become very mainstream, nowadays there are many MMOs that
are playable online and mostly for free.
worlds versus Games
and creation of objects in-world
normal game you play a “role” in the game. In virtual worlds you
can also “play” a character but most users are themselves in most
cases at least. The lack
of the need to fullfill objectives, makes room for other capabilities
and other functionalities within the virtual world. For instance, the
ability to create objects.
virtual worlds are almost entirely created by it’s residents. This
means that many people have devoted their time to making content for
the virtual world in question. Thus, all that you see is made by
residents. There are
no companies involved to create all what has been made in-world. Many
companies only “offered the land” for creative minds to create
objects and let other residents explore the world created.
Money vs Real Economy
huge difference between games and virtual worlds is the fact that
there is a virtual economy set inside the virtual environment. You can
get a virtual job in-world and get paid virtual money. The
amount of virtual money you receive for a virtual job can be
different from one job to another.
There is a
way to convert your virtual cash into real money, using a sort of
exchange in-world or on a website. These
exchange services are services created to allow residents of the
virtual worlds to trade their virtual money into real US Dollars (
and maybe other currencies as well ). You are
able to buy virtual money or sell your virtual money to trade into
US Dollars or vice versa. As in real
life exchange the exchange rates can fluxuate, so be aware.
buying virtual money and you are logged in-world already it can take
a few minutes for the database to be synchronized. So, this
means that the virtual world and the real world economy are bonded
virtual worlds it’s easy to get involved and a wide community of
residents is ready to help you whenever they can. Either by
creating objects or starting a business in-world or by helping
newbies to get adapted to this environment.
Life versus Virtual Life
Virtual Cash in the virtual world
in real life you sometimes need (virtual) money in the virtual
worlds. There are
different ways to obtain money in the virtual world.
in most virtual worlds you can take on a “job” and gain virtual
money that way.
option is to buy virtual cash with real life money, which is the most
likely option, in most cases.
option is making objects or trade objects with other residents and
sell those for the best price on the virtual market.
through an avatar
life we communicate through face-to-face conversations and discussing
with each other. In most
virtual worlds this is also possible, but there is a different
avatar, which is a virtual representation of yourself in cyberspace (
the virtual world ) you can interact with other avatars and discuss
with them about various topics.
often hard to find people that share the same idea or have the same
opinion in the virtual world. Luckily,
in many virtual worlds there is the ability to join groups or
something similar. When
joining a group, you can share ideas or discuss whatever topic the
group has and connect with people that share the mutual ideas. Most
groups are free to join, however, some may cost you some virtual
money to join.
around in the virtual world
around in the different virtual worlds can be either by walking
around, flying, or using a vehicle or flying object to transport your
avatar around in the virtual reality. Although
in most virtual worlds this aspect is different, depending on which
virtual world you are in, the main goal is the same : getting around
as quickly and smoothly as possible.
virtual worlds it could take a while to transport from one place to
and alike are also available in most virtual worlds, allowing avatars
to quickly go from one place to another.
learn, it turns out that some virtual worlds have game aspects and
some don't. Either way,
it's not easy to name a virtual worlds as “game” or “not
game” but virtual world. But on the
other hand, the social and economic systems have similarities. We might
conclude that a virtual world is often not a game and could be named
“virtual world” instead. Although,
personal opinions may vary and are open for discussion, my personal
opinion is that I always refer to “virtual world” and not “game”
as it comes to online virtual worlds.
feel free to comment on this topic and let me know what you think
about this subject.