The Weekly Stripe – 22.06.18

This weekly Stripe explores that corner of the digital world where people get hooked, at the intersection of video games and Augmented Reality. The latest techology promise to resurrect  Second Life, a virtual world inhabited by millions of people -avatars in its heyday. But the more advanced and more convincing videogames become, the more they leave us questioning: what are the implications for the self and society of having an escape from real life available at hand?

 While labour market conditions got worse, video games became much better in the last 10 years. Is there a connection  between video games – a  “leisure luxury” –  and the fact that an increasing number of young people is  unemployed or underemployed?This article answers this question. 

When it appeared in 2007,  Second Life was acclaimed as “The future of the Internet”. After 10 years, the simultaneous rise of Facebook and the plateau in Second Life users as proof that the creator  Linden Lab misread public desires.

 The epidemic popularity of Pokemon Go is remarkable not  because it made Augmented Reality available to a multitude and it created new expectations about what our phone can do. And if you are wondering which are the best places to catch Pokemon in NYC, here there is a guide for that. 

 Consumer virtual reality is still in its infancy, but is growing quickly.  Sansar – from the same developers of Second Life –  is promising to be the next frontier for full digital immersion being based on Augmented Reality.  Will this sort of Third Life be the platform to realize all human fantasies in the virtual world? 

This article analyse in depth the the life of young adult gamers: are they finding a trap or a refuge in the virtual worlds they choose to inhabit? And what are the consequences of the long gaming hours on their real life?