There’s an election upcoming in the online role playing game The Sims Online, and U-M Philosophy professor Peter Ludlow, the editor of a popular blog about the game called the Alphaville Herald, is wondering what it all means:
” … Ludlow looks at the Alphaville election with an academic perspective. Given that the winner takes over leadership of a virtual government in a virtual city in a virtual world, one might wonder whether there’s anything to take seriously here.
“It’s government after a fashion, I suppose,” says Ludlow. “It’s fair to say that the Alphaville Government is in large measure role playing, but I also think it’s a real social institution within the game that could do things to improve the quality of the game.”
But he also recognizes that the Alphaville Government has power only in the sense that players respect the lead it has taken in trying to make life for Alphaville newbies palatable and to help protect them from being scammed. …”
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