University of Indiana professor Edward Castronova has a new book examining the real life impacts of our increasing involvement in virtual worlds, such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. Entitled Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality , it looks like an interesting read. From the book description:
Virtual worlds have exploded out of online game culture and now capture
the attention of millions of ordinary people: husbands, wives, fathers,
mothers, workers, retirees. Devoting dozens of hours each week to
massively multiplayer virtual reality environments (like World of Warcraft and Second Life),
these millions are the start of an exodus into the refuge of fantasy,
where they experience life under a new social, political, and economic
order built around fun. Given the choice between a fantasy world and the real world, how many of us would choose reality? Exodus to the Virtual World
explains the growing migration into virtual reality, and how it will
change the way we live–both in fantasy worlds and in the real one.
Ted is most well known for his groundbreaking work examining the online economies of virtual worlds and comparing them to nation-state economies.