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Synthetic Worlds: Second Life, Business, and Virtual Gaming


Synthetic Worlds: Second Life, Business, and Virtual Gaming Nikki Price 2/27/12 Engl 197 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Synthetic Worlds: Second Life, Business, and Virtual Gaming

Synthetic Worlds Second Life, Business, and
Virtual Gaming
  • Nikki Price
  • 2/27/12
  • Engl 197

Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds
  • synthetic world computer generated space,
    represented graphically in three dimensions, that
    can be experienced by many people at once
  • synthetic crafted by humans
  • All MMORPG (massively multi-player online
    role-playing game) worlds in the game industry
  • Examples The Sims Online, Second Life
  • DOES NOT include games such as online poker or
    text based chat rooms

Synthetic Worlds
  • Synthetic worlds hold immense promise as places
    where humans can enhance their Earth experiences
    with ones drawn directly from our glorious
    collective history and imagination.
  • Ideally, the synthetic worlds we revere and feel
    most comfortable in will also be Good worlds. We
    will like them, and they will enhance human
    dignity and well-being The Earth is very
    nice, but there are experiences we can imagine in
    our minds that we cannot have here
  • Multiplayer online videogames have become
    too fraught with heady implications to be ignored
    any longer.

(No Transcript)
A virtual world is a world rendered out of a
  • Virtual reality The result of efforts to craft
    an all-encompassing synthetic environment
  • More likely to be absorbed if designed in a way
    that appealed to others, that invited them in and
    tried to provide something that they would like
    to have
  • Therefore, all of these virtual reality games
    must entail some sort of reward.
  • What sort of rewards do virtual games offer its
  • How are virtual reality games advertised to
    potential players? http//

Synthetic Worlds
  • Looking beyond these simple joys of immersive,
    interactive entertainment, however, it should be
    stressed that synthetic worlds may eventually
    make contributions to human well-being that will
    be judged as extraordinarily significant.

What can synthetic worlds contribute to the human
experience that would be considered
extraordinarily significant?
Second Life Currency
  • Linden dollars
  • 1 U.S. dollar approx. 300 Linden dollars
  • Virtual worlds, especially Second Life, tap into
    the talent and hard work of everyone.
  • in 2003, Linden Lab allowed Second Life residents
    to retain full ownership of their virtual
  • Programmer Nathan Keir, Tringo

My Virtual Life Business behind virtual worlds
  • Virtual worlds could transform the way they
    businesses operate by providing a new template
    for getting work done, from training and
    collaboration to product design and marketing.
  • People are willing to do tedious, complex tasks
    within games, notes Nick Yee, a Stanford
    University graduate student in communications who
    has extensively studied online games. What if we
    could tap into that brainpower?

  • From Second Life Wiki
  • Over the last few years, many large
    multi-national enterprises and government
    institutions have realized that Second Life is a
    powerful collaboration tool for work such as
    meetings, training sessions, and simulations and
  • Possible to build conference spaces that can hold
    200-300 avatars
  • Applications within Second Life include
    Powerpoint presentations, white boarding,
    brainstorming, dynamic audience polling, etc.
    Available in the SL Marketplace.
  • Quality of Second Life meetings gt conference
    calls or video conferencing
  • SL provides a shared sense of environment
    the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting
    which is usually preferred, but not always
    possible due to geographic or budgetary
  • Example IBM coordinated a virtual world
    conference in 2009, ultimately saving 320,000
  • What are the potential benefits and consequences
    of using virtual worlds for business related

Virtual Pets
  • Nintendogs (2005)
  • http//
  • Tamagotchi (1996)
  • http//
  • http//

Movement towards community
  • Why do virtual games continue to make the
    transition from individual game play to
    multiplayer online communities?
  • What do players benefit from, or see as a reward,
    from such communities?
  • Can or do these communities detract players from
    face to face interactions in their everyday
  • Castronova I fear the power of a simulated
    world to alter the minds conception of its own
    desires. Many people seem to be heavily invested
    emotionally in rather crude synthetic worlds
    some spend every waking hour there. Is that the
    result of a rational choice, or rather some form
    of chemical response similar to nicotine?