So I have to mention this Second Life thing. I tried it out a couple of weeks ago and am fairly impressed. Originally I considered it something of a game, but it is really a more social experience than that. I have seen some people refer to it as a Massively Multiplayer experience crossed with Myspace.com. It is very difficult to describe. The Escapist Magazine – an excellent source for the thoughtful aspects of gaming and gaming culture – has a very good article on the matter.
At one point, I was simply listening to someone playing music, most likely from their living room, while I sat at home. There were about 15 other people or avatars that were watching and listening to this very nice live jazz. The musician’s name in the game is Astrin Few. If you happen to stop in, check him out.
I am presently trying to learn how to play music myself in game. I have learned how to broadcast to an audience of about 8 and may make an event like this. But the visceral experience of being there is different when you have some reference to three-dimensional space.
The social ramifications of the “game” are very impressive indeed. I continue to refer to it as a game as I cannot think of another that would suit better – “environment” perhaps?