Virtual Worlds Vs Social Networking Platforms

Richard Bartle: Virtual Worlds Will Lose to Social Netorking

In an interview with the Guardian, 1st MUD designer Richard Bartle says that virtual worlds will eventually be consumed by social networking site or wind up operating only as extensions of Facebook. “That’s my glum assessment of the future, yes. There WILL be the glorious virtual worlds we have today, only they’ll be of minority interest. Most people will use the technology but not care about the worlds as worlds,” he said. “If you want the intelligent stuff, you’ll be able to find it; however, if you don’t know it’s there, you won’t know to look.Then again, I see what’s happening in Korea with virtual worlds, and I wonder if maybe, just maybe, they do have a mass market
future beyond that of the banal?”

Virtual Worlds News: Richard Bartle: Virtual Worlds Will Lose to Social Netorking

Not for U12s though. Not for U12’s.

And there shouldn’t be social networking in the degree that we’re heading FOR anyone under 13. Let them be fun kids, explore worlds, tame beasts, and make SURFACE friends (the kind where you’re on the same team but don’t share real information).

Watch playground action. When I was a camp counselor– here’s out it went…

U10 kids go to the play ground and envision it as a world– they play hot lava tag, and become monkeys on monkey bars. Talking at length about stuff is “boring”… and we don’t necessarily want them adapting social life over play patterns quite yet.

10 – 13 bounced between ^ and v. They were “sorting their tween selves out”. They didn’t want to commit to either. They wanted hybrid– which is what Virtual worlds will become… a chance to build a limited profile where they can get distracted by the adventures offered (and hide in the need to be part of the play) while stretching their social skills and adapting profiles.

13+ kids go to the playground and sit on benches and talk about their lives and gossip and try to be as “cool” as they think they might look.

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  1. Wasim
    July 18, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    That’s interesting and the death of the email IS very slow. I never actually even thought about it untill reading this blog. but surely the email can’t completely die off though can it ?

  2. July 19, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Yes, you’re right. I thought I’d mentioned in the interview that everything was different for children, but I just checked the text I sent to the Guardian and I hadn’t. I certainly meant to (in the bit where I say I’m glum about the future), but I must have distracted myself.


  3. July 19, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    No doubt, Wasim! I love email. I love the fact I can spy on my own email through netvibes w/o having to open the email box.

    Thanks for stopping by and clarifying, Richard! For adults? I agree. It’ll be fun to watch and see if anyone tosses something new in the mix to change that course around.

    I “think” I read an article the other day about the same companies that ran to Second Life in droves are now running AWAY from Second Life in droves. Hmm, I’m going to see if I can dig through and find that article.

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