Are virtual friends as good as real ones? Don't be so quick to decide. Tim Stevens relates his experiences with Nintendogs, takes a look at more personal experiences from Japan, and discusses how the immersiveness of modern games may make the virtual a compelling substitute for some real experiences.
The Home Invasion
The 360 is here, ushering in the next generation of games and gamers. For some, it will be their Commodore, their 2600, their Nintendo. Joe Blancato looks at what the expanding industry means to the current generation of gamers.
The classroom is changing. Chalkboards and overhead projectors have been replaced by PowerPoint presentations, film strips have been replaced by videos, DVDs and movies. Jon Wood discusses the value videogames can have in the classroom.
Sex, in one form or another, permeates all videogame genres. It's an important part of human relations, of life, of storytelling, and as such, it's an important part of games. Bonnie Ruberg takes a look at videogames, pornography, and the question of interactivity.
In 1899, economist Thorstein Veblen wrote that most of the economic activity in a modern society is little more than individuals attempting to distinguish themselves from one another. Mark Wallace discusses gaming as the new leisure class.
In the next two centuries, roleplaying ideas will transform society. Game designers can help. Allen Varney predicts the day when imminent ubiquitous net allows reputation to abstract relationships in the same way money abstracts labor.