Monday, July 16, 2012

Keeping it real!

Good morning everyone. Yesterday night as I was driving, I was listening to this show called "fight club", a very popular late night show in Greece. So from what I understood, the show was giving away, in the form of a draw, a number of special belts that could be used in a game called "West". I was intrigued because I clearly had no idea what they were talking about, but after listening to the show for 5 minutes, I found out that West is an online role playing game. The special belts could give special powers to their owners.

So here is a show, that instead of real products or services, is giving away virtual goods. Could it be that the virtual world is taking over the real one?

And could it be that virtual utility (enjoyment) is taking over real utility? There are those who would argue that utility cannot be separated into real and virtual. Utility is the enjoyment that one receives from performing a particular action, either playing football or playing video games.

What has changed is the social factor in the utility function. Where utility could be derived in the past by going for coffee with friends, now virtual utility can be had by belonging to a virtual society in a role playing game (like second life). The question that arises however is whether the new virtual utility is enough to compensate for the forgone real utility. In other words, are you getting enough virtual utility to replace the utility lost from not being part of the real world?

Is it worth replacing real experiences for virtual ones? You be the judge.

Have a nice real or virtual day!


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