Thursday, October 25, 2007

CSI:NY does Second Life

Anyone seen yesterday's episode of CSI: New York, in which Mac Taylor hunts a killer in Second Life? Not living in the USA I won't be able to see it before the episode comes out on DVD. But I read about it in the New York Times.

From the description at least it is a good thing for Linden Labs, because fans of the TV series CSI:NY will be invited to play CSI-related games inside Second Life, which should attract a good number of new potential customers. But I'm not sure whether I like the idea of video game players once again being depicted as obsessed murderers. There was a CSI:Miami episode showing students killing people in a live replay of a video game which didn't exactly paint gamers in a positive (or even realistic) way.

I really liked the South Park episode Make Love Not Warcraft, because it was very evident that the people who made that episode did really understand World of Warcraft. They took some artistic license, of course. But the "evil" guy wasn't killing people in real life, he only killed them in game, and he was overly powerful because he didn't have a real life, and was playing all day. While the events of the South Park episode couldn't happen exactly like this in WoW, the core problems of PvP griefing and in-game power depending on playing long hours really exist. The message of "to become the most powerful guy in WoW you need to have no real life" is sad, but true. I'd much rather see that sort of a story than another "video gamers are killers in real life" story. I'm afraid CSI:NY won't help to make people understand virtual worlds better.

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