More4 (Channel 4's deep-thinking digital channel) did a documentary on virtual worlds, featuring no less than Raph Koster and pals.
True Stories presents: Jorien van Nes and Femke Wolting's fascinating
insight into online virtual worlds. Second Life, World of Warcraft,
Metaplace, U World - all virtual worlds where the user can create their
own paradise, far removed from real life. People can create societies
that range from the democratic to the dictatorial, have avatars that
resemble their ideal and can engage in actions that their real life
personality would never dream of doing, from cyber-sex to virtual
crime. But who creates these worlds and are they the right people to be
crafting idealised societies that pretend to address and solve the
inadequacies of the real world?
Dungeons & Dragons Online reckon you can just buy your in-game stuff with real money from the off. How is this different from other games with microtransactions? Not so much - you can just buy more infrastructural things here, including player classes, and even quests - but it feels really different to me. Can't put my finger on it.
Kev and Alice are two Sims - father and daughter - created by Robin, a UK-based games design student.
Kev and Alice are homeless.
Welcome to the tale of Alice and Kev.
This is an experiment in playing a homeless family in The Sims 3.
I created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an
abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then
attempted to help them survive without taking any job promotions or
easy cash routes. [...]
I have attempted to tell my experiences with the minimum of
embellishment. Everything I describe in here is something that happened
in the game. What’s more, a surprising amount of the interesting things
in this story were generated by just letting go and watching the Sims’
free will and personality traits take over.