In a previous column (Living in a Virtual World) we discussed how more people are getting comfortable spending time socialising online. Wall Street Journal columnist Lauren Goode describes how she started:
playing SimCity Social, the latest game in Electronic Arts’ Sim franchise, and The Ville, Zynga’s new social game. Both games involve building digital environments that simulate real life — cities and houses — with players advancing by developing these domains and creating strong social ties within the games.
She then goes on to say that:
After just a week of game play, I, too had been sucked into the world of social games, to the point where I was spending actual money on virtual goods, and proposing make-out sessions with avatars on digital couches. I would likely continue to play them, and spend my own dollars on virtual goods on occasion.
In one game it is possible to develop “real” relationships:
I really liked socializing in The Ville. When a visitor entered my home, I had the option to shake hands, tell a joke, gossip, cuddle on the couch, make out, and play Words With Friends with them. When this happened, my avatar and a friend’s avatar would convulse near each other in this odd but endearing form of socializing. After some interaction, I could choose to deepen my relationships. In some cases, it might even turn into romance.
Whether we like it or not real life is being sucked into a virtual world. People used to mock others walking down the street with a mobile phone for being pretentious. Others questioned why you would want to receive an email, which was so impersonal compared to a letter. Still recently others asked why would you want to share your life on Facebook?
Why would you want to have a virtual romance online?
To read the whole WSJ article click here: Build Virtual Worlds on Facebook in The Ville, SimCity Social – Lauren Goode – Product Reviews – AllThingsD.