Science in MMORPGs
November 20, 2006 7:20 AM Subscribe
Science and Metaphysics from the inside of virtual worlds?
posted by empath to computers & internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been reading a lot of books about the 16th and 17th centuries recently, and of course, one of the recurring themes is the development of 'natural philosophy' -- that is, science.
There has been a lot of talk about the sociology of MMORPGs and virtual worlds, but what about the physical sciences and metaphysics?
What can you say about the nature of virtual worlds, without making references to anything 'outside'? Where does it come from, what sustains it? What are the objects made of? How is a tree different from an 'creature'? Can you say anything at all that's non-trivial about it? -- that is, something other than 'that is a tree, because it was programmed to be a tree'.
In a perfect 'role-playing' world-- that is, one in which no players make references to anything that there character wouldn't be able to see, would there be anyway to determine anything about the 'world outside'? Or the computer that holds the simulation?
One thing that immediately strikes me is that there are no 'instruments' available in most virtual worlds-- no microscopes, yard sticks, measuring cups. What kind of experiments could you do without any of that?
Sorry, this may be a little bit chatty, but I'm genuinely interested in the answers, or if anybody has written any articles about this (even if they're jokey)