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Monday, August 15th, 2005, 6:11 am

RPG Fantasy World

Laptop

Back when I was in school, some friends of mine were addicted to on-line role-playing games (RPG) such as Ultima (interview with its creator just Slashdotted). One of them would spend his entire life (not literally as he was in school too) playing D&D-themed games, attending his friends’ on-line weddings and grabbing screenshots. The Diablo extravaganza was heated up too at the time, but it goes back to the age of 14 or 15.

I have just stumbled upon an entertaining essay by one such addict. It gives an idea of the scale and growth of this phenomenon. I will not be surprised if in the next decade we see people who are entirely disconnected from reality, constantly ‘plugged-into’ their computer screen, spending their life (physical) in a virtual world, provided they can financially afford it. Computers allow many to enter a virtual world where gaps between reality and imagination simply collapse. Let us not forget that computers stride on quickly while the rest of the world does not. In a few decades, the two might intersect at some level.

You may have heard about a guy who recently was convicted of murdering a man during a dispute over a rare, valuable sword. That sword that was not made of metal or anything solid, but rather of 1′s and 0′s inside a computer hundreds of miles away. It was a sword he had won in the MMORPG Legend of Mir 3.

Related films: The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Matrix (1999)
(note: mentioning of these films does not imply that I like them)

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