August 14, 2007

Virtual Friends, Lovers, and Prime Designers

by Andrew Stern · , 2:10 am

Here are three excellent new articles, two in the Wall Street Journal and one from the New York Times.

Stuck Holding the Electronic Leash“. To young kids, virtual pets continue to be a successful game genre; in fact some companies are cashing in like never before. Impressive!

Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?

Nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real-life friends, according to a survey of 30,000 gamers … More than a quarter of gamers said the emotional highlight of the past week occurred in a computer world …

Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guy’s Couch

… technological advances could produce a computer with more processing power than all the brains in the world, and that advanced humans, or “posthumans,” could run “ancestor simulations” of their evolutionary history by creating virtual worlds inhabited by virtual people with fully developed virtual nervous systems. … “My gut feeling, and it’s nothing more than that,” he says, “is that there’s a 20 percent chance we’re living in a computer simulation.”

And speaking of the potential of games, don’t miss Clint Hocking’s thoughful rebuttal to Roger Ebert’s continuing narrowmindedness on the topic. (Although the comments have been hijacked by an insane troll from Canada.)

3 Responses to “Virtual Friends, Lovers, and Prime Designers”

  1. Clint Says:

    Thanks for the plug Andrew.
    For anyone still interested in that deadhorse topic but afraid of attracting the wrath of the aforementioned troll, I’ll be nuking his post history in the coming days once his OC has shifted onto something else…

  2. andrew Says:

    Clint, I’ll be curious about reactions to your planting-a-stake-in-the-ground regarding Crash and GTA:SA. A gutsy claim, if you ask me.

    Terra Nova has followup discussions on two of the above articles (1 2).

  3. andrew Says:

    Jane at gamegirladvance reacts to Clint’s post, and wonders if/when the new generation of procedurally literate game players will become good programmers…

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