Sunday, July 19, 2009

Funny how life moves on

Sometimes I blog in advance. I'll find a great Christmas idea in July or just a good link at a time when I can't blog. I'll pre-date those for a year from whatever date and return to it when I have the time.

So that's what happened yesterday. A year ago I was organizing the closet bedroom two apartments back while listening to a Spark blog about Disney shutting down a free on-line game with major player involvement. It reminded me of the years I spent playing The Sims Online and how disappointing it was to have the game servers shut down.

So what do game developpers owe the players? In TSO they gave away ridiculous virtual freebies, comped everyone's last few months of playtime and tweaked the algorithms until the game ceased pretending to be anything but a guied-out chat room.

But what about the psychological involvement? When an experience ends in the real world we walk away with a diploma, vacation pictures, contact information. We can find college alumni through social networking sites, pipl old co-workers and as a worst case scenario find snail mail information. When a virtual world is archived on servers three time zones away there is nothing left.

You just realize how hollow virtual relationships are - regardless of how real the feelings behind them are.