China Struggles to Evolve in the Age of Online Gaming

Worldofwarcraft_chinaChina is an interesting case, a society where strict cultural censorship gives way to a vibrant community of online gamers. But this online freedom only exists up to a point, as both Google and World of Warcraft can attest.

China's educated middle and upper classes are voracious online gamers, and many are unhappy with several proposed changes to the popular Chinese online game "Legend." This caps off a tumultuous few months for a Chinese government struggling to come to terms with the emergence of virtual worlds.

Let's take a look at why some Chinese gamers are staging virtual world protests, and why the Chinese government is moving to shut down offending servers in a bid to control the potential threat of unchained protest.

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Is the Linden Dollar a Ticking Time Bomb?

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Pixels and Policy reader and virtual world enthusiast Doubledown Tandino left a thought-provoking comment on our article about the lack of competition in the virtual world. Tandino made the argument that attaching a dollar value to Linden Dollars is really a work of fiction:

Linden Lab…says [the exchange rate] is $260L to
$1 USD every day…so it is. and the world believes it. It is fortunate
that the bubble hasn't burst on the fictitious economy.


It's an intriguing argument, so Pixels and Policy decided to take a look at the confidence behind the currency. Is Second Life's economy just irrational exuberance?

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Where Do You See Virtual Worlds in 5 Years?

Url 10 years ago, Ultima Online hit the mainstream and ushered hundreds of thousands of fantasy-seekers into online gaming.

The Metaverse has expanded by leaps and bounds since then, evolving from rigid fantasy worlds to boundless virtual communities with applications in education, international business, government, and medicine.

Pixels and Policy wants to know: Where do you see virtual worlds in 5 years? Will increasing technology allow virtual worlds to exist around us at all times? Will we be voting for our Senators online?

Share your thoughts in our comment section, and we'll post some of the best for the Monday P.M. edition of Pixels and Policy!