In his new book The Warcraft Civilization, sociologist William Sims Bainbridge argues that the online game World of Warcraft portends the future of the real world. I spoke with him to find out more.
You've spent 2300 hours in World of Warcraft (WoW). Is it more than a game?
Like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, WoW isn't just escapist fantasy. It's posing alternatives to the world we actually have today. It raises questions about environmentalism and colonialism; it asks how people are going to be respectful of each other in a world in which there aren't enough resources.
Tolkien believed that all good people could come together on the same side. This is one of the biggest questions that humanity faces: can we have a world consensus by which we're all partners in finding a solution? Or, like the Hoarde vs Alliance situation in WoW, are we doomed to be in separate factions competing ultimately to the death? It touches on very serious issues but in a playful way.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
World of Warcraft predicts the future.
From New Scientist: