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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting fun read
This book gave me a new perspective on online games, politics and fun. Castronova manages to explain why MMORPGs are taking up so much of people's time that there is actually an exodus going on. It is also interesting to read about his ideas for a "fun society", where the goal is fun for everyone rather than general economic growth, with game design and public policy...
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by Jon Inge Lomeland

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Synthetic Worlds
This is a decent book about the virtues of virtual worlds, but Castronova's first book Synthetic Worlds is much more substantive and convincing. If you haven't read his first book yet, then buy that one instead of this.
Published on 28 Feb 2009 by Minh Tran


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting fun read, 19 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Exodus to the Virtual World (Hardcover)
This book gave me a new perspective on online games, politics and fun. Castronova manages to explain why MMORPGs are taking up so much of people's time that there is actually an exodus going on. It is also interesting to read about his ideas for a "fun society", where the goal is fun for everyone rather than general economic growth, with game design and public policy increasingly becoming the same thing. I agree with Castronova that community is an important factor for making games fun. Still, I find that as online multiplayer games become more and more like the real world in terms of social hierarhies, reputation, commitment and dedication, some of the fun factor disappears and the games become more of a job with chores that need to be done each day and night. Apart from finding the book to maybe lack some of these nuancing thoughts on online fun, it is an interesting read which made me "lol" several times.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Synthetic Worlds, 28 Feb 2009
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Minh Tran (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Exodus to the Virtual World (Hardcover)
This is a decent book about the virtues of virtual worlds, but Castronova's first book Synthetic Worlds is much more substantive and convincing. If you haven't read his first book yet, then buy that one instead of this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attention Migration, 22 Aug 2008
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MarkusG "Markus" (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Exodus to the Virtual World (Hardcover)
The central theme of Exodus is the concept of "attention migration". That is: that more and more people choose to immerse themselves in synthetic worlds (Castronova's word instead of "virtual worlds") - MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games), like Second Life and World of Warcraft. Today they have at least 16 million registered users, and the number is increasing quickly. Also, some of these synthetic worlds function like alternate societies with their own norms of conduct, citizenships, economies, codes and policies and so on. In a information society where attention is central, the increasing attention spent on synthetic worlds will (according to Castronova) create a "atmospeheric event"...
Castronova writes well and he discusses this social phenomenon and it's probable future impact in an interesting way. Though at times I think the discussion becomes a little repetitive, and I can't totally agree that "real" societies will have to become more "fun" and gamelike to compete with the synthetic counterparts. But it is a fascinating thought.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening, 6 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Exodus to the Virtual World (Hardcover)
Castranova has a rare gift. He can take basic assumptions and completely turn them on their heads in a few seconds. This is why you need this book. It contains answers to questions you never thought of asking. He sets out to demonstrate how the pervasive economic discourse of Western society falls flat on its butt when it tries to describe good old-fashioned fun. Fun is an anomaly in the mental structure of rational man. However, following economical thinking to its bitter end is no better; we'd have to conclude that more and more people spend more and more time in synthetic worlds. These worlds seem to posses an ever-increasing competitive advantage over the real world. The conclusion is that the real world needs to get its act together and become more attractive to lure back its customers. After all, if you could go somewhere and become whoever or whatever you always wanted to be, why wouldn't you? I'm grossly simplifying some of the discussions in Castranova's work, but I will say this. I've used this work along with Boellstorff's "Coming of Age in Second Life" as part of university courses I've taught. The ensuing discussion really engaged the students like nothing ever before. One half was on fire with that surge of germinal energy you feel after you've read something that changes the very way you think about things, and the other half was rolling their eyes, insisting that "it's just a game for goodness' sake!" Social interaction, memory, language, culture ... Castranova will have you re-evaluating all these things. Enjoy!
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Exodus to the Virtual World
Exodus to the Virtual World by Edward Castronova (Hardcover - 1 Jan 2007)
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