MMOs Turning Into Laboratorys

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Here's an interesting piece indicating that I might not be in the minority thinking that online games could be a fascinating way to not only work with other people, but to actually model issues and interactions.

Second Life was crafted as an open-ended environment that would allow players to fly, drive fantastical vehicles, dress up in outlandish outfits and build just about anything they could imagine. The game's developers at San Francisco's Linden Lab, however, didn't expect it to be used as a way for business school students to test entrepreneurial talents or for abused children to rediscover social skills.

This just sounds ripe for building social experiments that would be ruled "unethical" if performed in real life. Randomizing people in and out of various conditions, sharp shocks to abilities, and so on. Imagine the varieties of common-pool games that could be constructed almost without explicit agreement from players of Second Life!

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I've personally used Second Life for a test-bed for some crazy business ideas I had awhile back. Philip Rosedale was very friendly and helpful.

Stuff like Second Life really is the future, it just needs some tweaking before it really takes off.


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This page contains a single entry by published on April 6, 2005 2:06 PM.

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