Lange (2010)

Patricia Lange's paper addresses the issue that was raised in the 1st paper, that of the separation of the real from the virtual in terms of what is learned. The study she reports uses quite old technology in terms of games, that of MUDs (Multiuser Dungeons or Dimensions). They are simple text-based environments in which people can role play and interact with other players. Sherry Turkle1 is an important thinker in this space.

The use of the terms real and virtual are worth thinking about carefully here.

She makes a useful argument about the place/role of games in social life in an attempt to defuse the real/virtual binary. It perhaps prompts a recall of that lovely line of Michael Lascarides that digital is the new horseless2. The terms we use to talk about these new phenomena are important but also reflect not just past patterns of thinking about games but also an attempt to make sense of the new in terms of familiar ideas.