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A day or two ago, the Wall Street Journal had a big article on Second Life in which they decided to focus on whether this one particular person was technically cheating on his wife or not. (For the answer, decide what you mean by “cheating”! And poof, you’re done. My answer: yes, he is.)

Anyway, the Journal lost no opportunity to call Second Life a game. Today my friend sophrosyne-sl (Soph) blogged about someone who in turn blogged about people who don’t use voice in Second Life being role-playing dinosaurs who are frightened of change. (Kate’s assessment: the post Soph is reacting to is too silly to deserve quoting, so even she gives it more respect that I do.) And of course that person called Second Life a game, too.

It’s actually a mistake to call it a game.

In any case, I’ve discovered a new approach that I’ll take to people calling Second Life a game: I’ll be sad for them. I wanted to say “pity”, but that kind of suggests that I’ll be considering them inferior, and I don’t consider people inferior for calling Second Life a game. It’s just that they’ve decided that they want to take what amounts to an entire virtual world and put it on the same level as, oh, Pac Man. (Remember Pac Man? I’m old, aren’t I? But at least I’m still cute.)

That isn’t what I’d do with a virtual world, but if I thought everyone who disagreed with me was inferior, I’d be a sad, sad, lonely woman.

I’ll steal this argument from Soph, because she brings it right to the point: when a new thing comes along, you can either try to understand it and embrace it, or you can just lump it in with the old things. A game is an old thing. A virtual world is a new thing. Virtual worlds are much more wonderous than games. It’s a neat choice to have.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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