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Ethical Concerns Of Virtual Worlds Over The Internet

1478 words - 6 pages

Virtual worlds are an environment played out over the internet. Virtual worlds are evolving more and more each year. In a virtual world users can live a “second” life over the web. This can lead to crimes in the real world due to disassociation. There are many other health concerns due to the excessive use of virtual worlds. Many users become addicted to these fantasy worlds. Virtual worlds have caused many social and economic issues that we will discuss below.
A virtual world is an environment over the internet where users “live” and communicate with other users. “A persistent online game is an online game in which each player assumes the role of a character in a virtual world and the attributes of the character and the world persist beyond a single gaming session” (Quinn, 2013). World of War craft is one of the most popular virtual world games played. Some other virtual worlds are Second Life, Keneva, There, Active Worlds, Meet Me, My World, HiPiHi, A World of My Own, and Moove. “Second Life” was created by Linden Labs in 1999. The users are able to voice chat which increases performance. “Keneva” was developed in 2004 by Keneva, Inc. It is a combination of gaming and social networking. “Active Worlds” was developed in 1997 by active worlds Inc. It is a 3-D virtual world. Transcosmos, Inc. developed “Meet Me”. It is expected to have great graphics. It is based out of Tokyo. “My World” is currently being tested by Arizona University students. China developed “HiPiHi”. This virtual world is under strict government censorship. Sir Richard Branson developed “A World of My Own”. There are around 10 million subscribers monthly throughout the world. In South Korea they have cybercafés also known as PC Bangs where people watch violence played out in the virtual world displayed over large monitors. A 33 year old South Korean man died due to playing online for 27 days, 650 hours in total over those days. During this time period, the man had little to drink. He also had very little sleep as well. An autopsy showed that what he ate was mainly ramen noodles. His death was caused by malnourishment and heart failure. Another death that occurred in South Korea as well was due to a man playing StarCraft for 50 hours long and only taking a few breaks. This was a 28 year old male named Lee who was playing this game in Taegu at an internet café. It is believed that due to exhaustion Lee had experienced heart failure. Lee was actually fired from work recently because he was not showing up due to his Cyber-addiction. These are two examples of what Cyber-addiction can do to the human body. Everyone needs to eat, sleep, and drink to remain healthy. As shown a lack of any or all of the above has serious and deadly consequences. Children are playing online games for long periods of time each day. Some are playing online games for ten or more hours per day. This is longer than a child spends in school each day. This is causing many children to lose touch...

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