Monday, October 20, 2008

Second Life vs. World of Warcraft

Both Second Life and World of Warcraft are examples of virtual worlds, and yet they are very different experiences. We can see these two worlds as occupying different ends of the virtual world spectrum. Second Life, at one end, is open, organic and unstructured. It puts a lot of development tools in the hands of the user but not a lot of practical functionality. In fact, Second Life can be viewed more as a virtual world development platform than as a virtual world application. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, can easily be seen as an application. It is a largely closed system. It is fixed in functionality. It is highly structured. Comparing these virtual worlds to more familiar applications you could say that Second Life is like a development environment such as Microsoft's Visual C# although not nearly as sophisticated. World of Warcraft is more of an application such as Quickbooks. Well, enough about virtual worlds. Next time I will return to writing for a change of pace.


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