This class thus far has changed the way I think about the virtual world. It’s a world that we all inhabit for hours a day, and never consider as a separate place than the living room, bedroom, office, or school building in which we access it. But these places seem to exist with rules, norms, and cultures distinct from our non-virtual spaces. They are virtually real spaces that perhaps must be approached with the same level of real-ness as we approach our everyday lives. I came to this realization after reading this quote from “Why Virtual Worlds Matter”:
Playing an MMOG is more akin to playing the role of Hamlet in a play, where we can acknowledge both the actor and the character, as well as the seamless blend between the two when performing on stage. But for players, like actors, the performance is always caught between the inside and the outside- what the actor brings to the role as well as what the role itself affords the actor. Unlike the spectator of a play, who only receives information, the player in an MMOG, like an actor, is creating the role and the world he or she inhabits.
So, what are we really creating when we create virtual spaces? Do the same theories of “code as law” prevail? And finally, how important is the idea of space to the virtually real online space that exists today?