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BJayy

A World Or A Game?

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I would like some peoples views about SL. since I've been in SL I 've noticed that a lot of people refered to it as 'a game' I think of SL more for what it is. a virtual world. which is very interactive and limitless. I wouldn't refer to SL as 'In game' or 'playing SL'.

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I would like some peoples views about SL. since I've been in SL I 've noticed that a lot of people refered to it as 'a game' I think of SL more for what it is. a virtual world. which is very interactive and limitless. I wouldn't refer to SL as 'In game' or 'playing SL'.

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BJayy wrote:

I would like some peoples views about SL. since I've been in SL I 've noticed that a lot of people refered to it as 'a game' I think of SL more for what it is. a virtual world. which is very interactive and limitless. I wouldn't refer to SL as 
'In game' or 'playing SL'.

Clearly a world. The confusion is from the word "playing" because it is a commonly used term in gaming, as in "playing a game" and also for acting as in "playing a role" or "playing the part of" the woman, man, hero, or whatever. The latter is what is meant in SL, i.e., playing roles.

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Virtual universe is probably a better term than virtual world. SL is bigger than a world. For me, SL seems like a portal between two universes and if you can find the right mental state you can cross over like Olivia Dunham in Fringe. 

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It IS a game, despite being open-ended, just like other open-ended games (The Sims, The Sims Online, Sim City, There, and a variety of MMORPG's that don't have a set path but let you wander around choosing what you will do) are just that:  Open-ended GAMES.

 

"Game" has a much broader definition than FPS's.  Likewise, there are many non-SL MMORPG's that have very rich, immersive worlds to wander around in (Wow, Guild Wars, and yes, even Runescape).

 

What's different about SL is that it's userbase is unique in it's obsession with attempting to use a game to mimic (or replace) their real lives, and the state of denial a great deal of its users are in (and the offense often taken when said denial is realized) regarding whether or not they are playing a game.  But that doesn't suddenly make a game not a game anymore.

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I prefer to call it an evironment it can host game builds but it's not really a game itself, if anything I'd liken it more to a game engine

 

that said just had a conversation not 20 minutes ago with someone asking "what's the goal? where do you go for EXP and how do you do quests? I want some sweet loot!"   when I explained to them how SL worked they said "oh" and logged out, I dont think I'll be seeing them again, they probably went running back to WoW

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Hello,

I think I agree with this discussion to a point. SL is a game in the sense that you can do things like fly and morph into anything you want. I can become a bunny - in the middle of a church service if I wanted to - in world. So in as much as there are businesses and schools that use SL for their own purposes, there is also a much larger segment of SL that is designed for fun and fantasy. Where else can you go where you can fall from the sky and see suspended objects floating around you (houses, cars, and other odd objects)....while you fall to earth and not hurt yoursel? Its a blend of a simulated realism, mixed in with a little bit of the not so real.

I'm just putting that out there, as food for thought.

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Jesica Dragovar wrote:

I... just had a conversation not 20 minutes ago with someone asking "what's the goal? where do you go for EXP and how do you do quests? I want some sweet loot!"  

Experience in this universe refers to something of an adult nature and quests are the objects of your desires. The loot is used to buy the equipment necessary to complete the quests.

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Your SL is what you want it to be, BJayy. Some people, for a wide variety of reasons, are bound to consider even RL as a 'game' of sorts, while others may get completely immersed and dead serious about a tic-tac-toe match; and there's nothing really wrong with it, despite some of the ranting already displayed in this thread, as long as it doesn't make your life, or anyone else's, worse for it.

The only thing you really need is to avoid any kind of misunderstanding: know how those around you regard SL (and therefore, how they regard you), let them know too how *you* regard SL (and therefore, how you regard them)... and pay special attention not to deceit yourself, either: be careful not to get too immersed and serious when you're having a good time, and don't cower beneath the usual this-is-just-a-game mantra when something or someone disappoints you. I can't begin to tell you just how many times I've seen SL conveniently used as the ultimate blaming turkey for what, in the end, were personal failures which had literally *nothing* to do with the nature of SL :smileywink:

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How about a game world?  While there are no quests, XP, mobs or bosses to kill and loot, you could consider such things as learning to build, terraforming and landscaping land, and role playing characters that you have only imagined game-like.

I used to push back at the assertion it was a game.  Now, I can see where it could seem that way to some.

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BJayy wrote:

I would like some peoples views about SL. since I've been in SL I 've noticed that a lot of people refered to it as 'a game' I think of SL more for what it is. a virtual world. which is very interactive and limitless. I wouldn't refer to SL as 
'In game' or 'playing SL'.

There are games within SL but to my mind, SL is a simulation of reality or an alternative reality. This said, I really think that it doesn't matter one bit whether a person thinks of & calls SL a game or not. It is what it is, and it's silly to fight over the name one calls it.

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BJayy wrote:

I would like some peoples views about SL. since I've been in SL I 've noticed that a lot of people refered to it as 'a game' I think of SL more for what it is. a virtual world. which is very interactive and limitless. I wouldn't refer to SL as 'In game' or 'playing SL'.

"A lot of people are referring to my beagle as a mammal or a carnivore. But I think he is really just a dog." :)

 

That's pretty much what you said there in big bold letters. SL is a lot of things. Just like beagles can be dogs, mammals, carnivores, vertebrates, animals and much more all at the same time, SL can be many things too. "Game" is just one of many labels that apply to SL. 

To be more precise, SL is a type of game that is commonly known as a sandbox game, a sandbox MMO, or an open-world MMO. Unlike a guided experience game, sandbox games have no goals, levels, skill sets, character classes or quests. You are more or less free to do whatever you want, but you still control a game character in a virtual fantasy world. You roleplay things like flying, teleporting, or taking a sunbath on a virtual beach. It is RP simply because you are not actually doing these things.

If you don't feel comfortable with the game label, feel free to call SL anything you like. Virtual world, virtual reality, social networking space, 3D simulation, MMO platform, and so on. SL is all these things, but it's also a 3D game.   

 

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

It is RP simply because you are not actually doing these things.  

Ishy, this begs the question of whether Jonty Glaser is RPing a business owner if he's earned $1,000,000USD as Stiletto Moody in the last four years. SL is what you make of it. I don't bother putting a label on it, someone will always disagree.

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I suppose I'd call it a virtual universe even though it's a  fantasy world to me. I could never see SL as a game. a game is where you go up in levels e.g: The Sims. for people involved in roleplay or bloodlines there would be aspects of a game. otherwise it's a virtual networking community to me. Thanks everyone for your views and replies.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

It is RP simply because you are not actually doing these things.  

Ishy, this begs the question of whether Jonty Glaser is RPing a business owner if he's earned $1,000,000USD as Stiletto Moody in the last four years. SL is what you make of it. I don't bother putting a label on it, someone will always disagree.

There is such a thing as a professional gamer who makes a living playing video games, but Mr. Glaser is not that. There are also gold and content farmers in MMORPGs, but Mr. Glaser is not one of them either. Instead, he is a game content provider. Just like the developers who are working on the next WoW expansion, some of which are designing things like digital footwear.

The people who are using his content in this game, however, are roleplaying the act of walking around in Mr. Glaser's virtual shoes :) There are many ways of earning money in the world of gaming, and the business end of a game can be a very serious matter (just like the game called real life). But that doesn't mean that MMOs aren't games.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

It is RP simply because you are not actually doing these things.  

Ishy, this begs the question of whether Jonty Glaser is RPing a business owner if he's earned $1,000,000USD as Stiletto Moody in the last four years. SL is what you make of it. I don't bother putting a label on it, someone will always disagree.

There is such a thing as a professional gamer who makes a living playing video games, but Mr. Glaser is not that. There are also gold and content farmers in MMORPGs, but Mr. Glaser is not one of them either. Instead, he is a game content provider. Just like the developers who are working on the next WoW expansion, some of which are designing things like digital footwear.

The people who are using his content in this game, however, are roleplaying the act of walking around in Mr. Glaser's virtual shoes
:)
There are many ways of earning money in the world of gaming, and the business end of a game can be a very serious matter (just like the game called real life). But that doesn't mean that MMOs aren't games.

Well, if real life is a game (I'm not saying it isn't) then no doubt SL is a game. Microsoft employs game designers and game psychologists in the design of its Office products. Their goal is to imbue Office with the same sorts of pleasure center feeding rewards that keep people sitting in front of games into the wee hours. As I recall from the article (I can't find it again) the goal was to increase hours of use, not necessarily increase user productivity.

Whether SL and/or RL are games is less important than realizing when one is gaming or being gamed (intentionally or not).

ETA: Of course we'll prolly have some difficulty determining what's gaming or being gamed ;-)

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Whether SL and/or RL are games is less important than realizing when one is gaming or being gamed (intentionally or not).

I couldn't have said it better myself.  I've been around Secondlife, off and on, for more than five years.  Something that strikes me about Secondlife is the level to which you can connect with other people, despite language/cultural differences.  At the same time, as the quote above implies (to me anyways), is that you really need to understand what others consider Secondlife to be and thereby, avoid hurting people or getting yourself hurt. 

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Steve Jobs logged into SL to check it out. Arriving at an infohub, he asked one resident, dressed to the nines and having an outstanding skin, what she did there. She replied I hang out and laugh at all the fools that ask for the sect. Teleporting to a sandbox, another resident when asked, said he was a scripter who spent his days scripting new games for the amusement of other residents. Still another replied at the sandbox that this was just a game and that he was a griefer who enjoyed tormenting others.

Wandering deeper into the sandbox, the traveler came upon an older female resident. "What are you doing?" he asked.

The woman paused, and looking up toward the magnificent SL sky, replied, "Me? I'm building a new country."

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Chitralekha wrote:

 

Whether SL and/or RL are games is less important than realizing when one is gaming or being gamed (intentionally or not).

I couldn't have said it better myself.  I've been around Secondlife, off and on, for more than five years.  Something that strikes me about Secondlife is the level to which you can connect with other people, despite language/cultural differences.  At the same time, as the quote above implies (to me anyways), is that you really need to understand what others consider Secondlife to be and thereby, avoid hurting people or getting yourself hurt. 

 

You got my meaning, Chitralekha. Ren Toxx said something similar elsewhere in this thread.

I too am struck by the depth of the connections we can make here, and the risks SL's amplification and acceleration can present. So I think it's important to understand other's expectations and vulnerabilities as well as our own. We will, of course, still have misunderstandings, both of each other and of ourselves.

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BJayy wrote:

I agree and I guess to always be aware that there are real people behind the avatars helps also.

Yep. And also recognize that our awareness of the person in the other chair is flawed. We will make mistakes. So be gentle with others and save some for yourself.

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Randall Ahren wrote:

Still another replied at the sandbox that this was just a game and that he was a griefer who enjoyed tormenting others.

Of course. Who else but a griefer could possibly think that the glorious metaverse is just a game? Why, the very notion constitutes an act of griefing against the enlightened people who know that SL is so much more... until LL someday turn off the servers and entire virtual countries are gone with the flick of a switch. None of us will get a say in that, because all this virtual land out there is nothing but a simulation owned by a single company that doesn't involve any of us in their arbitrary decisions.

 

Anyway, there is no reason why a gamer wouldn't respect his or her fellow gamers. The realization that SL is a game / simulation / RP environment doesn't make the people behind the avatars any less real and any less worthy of my respect. I've played an MMO called Star Wars Galaxies for years. I lived there, helped build a player city and a community, founded a band and performed at events like virtual weddings, and I even fell in love. Nobody would argue that SWG was just a game, but that didn't make the experience any less meaningful.

Alas, at some point, the publisher SOE decided to completely change the direction of this great game that was not just one virtual world but an entire virtual universe full of habitable planets. SWG was greatly dumbed down and changed from an open-ended sandbox world into a guided experience game. People moved on to various other MMOs and left their friends and loved ones behind in the process. Communities and relationships broke apart, and people who had spent every free minute together never saw each other again.

That's when I learned not to drink too much of the Kool-Aid and not take virtual worlds too seriously. That doesn't mean that I don't respect my fellow players / residents, only that I see MMOs and virtual relationships for what they are. These virtual places are run by companies who are not accountable to any of us and make arbitrary decisions that destroy virtual lifes, and all these places will be completely shut down once they are no longer profitable. The residents will move on, and unless you've made an RL connection with some of them, they will vanish from your life.

That's the one major difference between an MMO and something that deserves to be called a world or a reality. Don't make the mistake to care too deeply about any of this, just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Who else but a griefer could possibly think that the glorious metaverse is just a game?....

Don't make the mistake to care too deeply about any of this, just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

From an actual chat with a griefer:

 

Randall Ahren: You here to grief?Mister  Griefer: excuse me?Randall Ahren: I remember you from Hyannisport.Randall Ahren: Scooping people up.Mister Griefer: yeah that was fun asMister Griefer: could care less who ARs meMister Griefer: its a video game

 

It's not always what you do that is important. Sometimes what is important is how you think about yourself while you're doing it. Sometimes you're just coding and sometimes you're building a new way for humans to interact and communicate, going beyond all mental models that previously existed.

Sometimes you're having sex and sometimes you're making love. Sometimes you're teaching and sometimes you're touching the future.

Sometimes you simply exist and sometimes you really live.

The second of the four noble truths taught by Buddha is that it is our attachments that cause suffering. Yes, SL is ephermal, but so is our lives. That is the purpose of the Buddhist sand mandalas, to demonstrate that we are but dust in the wind.

The salient truth of life is death. The universal wish is for immortality, which we cannot have. 

 

 

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