Why do people loathe virtual worlds

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Tim Guest

The world is Not Enough

Travel to virtual reality
Rogner and Bernhard Verlag, Berlin 2008
ISBN 9783807710419
Hardcover, 364 pages, 19.90 EUR

Blurb

Translated from the English by Bernd Rullk├Âtter. The fiction of a perfect place always played a big role in people's imagination. Today, in the age of the computer, it is possible not only to invent such places, but to inhabit them. Every week around 50 million people worldwide leave their reality to enter virtual realities. In the computer-generated worlds, of which Second Life is the best known, anyone can create a new self, an avatar. One click of the mouse determines eye color, face shape, size and shape. You can build houses, create works of art, get married and get divorced. Virtual properties are sold for real money and hundreds of millions of dollars in deals are made every year. The Pentagon has started developing virtual worlds to benefit from in real wars. Cyber-reality crimes are now finding their way into real life: Virtually accumulated assets are driven in with mafia gangs.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 27, 2008

Virtual worlds, role-playing games? Franziska Seng found out what this was all about from Tim Guest. Seng praises the research work of the author, the portraits of makers and "addicts", the economic aspect as well as his own experiences with avatars and cyber-reality combined, and can now understand the fascination, but also the curse of the virtual much better. Occasionally, when Guest exposes the guru-like character of the Second Life inventors, the reviewer gets a bit too speculative and conspiracy theory, but the tragic comedy of double existences that appears in the portraits has apparently made up for it.
Read the review at buecher.de