Games and open-ended worlds

Lots of fun and applause for a performance by DJ Marshmello in Fortnite:

Millions of people attended the show and during the performance shooting and killing was not allowed.

Of course, for (ex-)residents of Second Life this is nothing new. We had live music performance since the years ’00, but most of my colleagues and friends are unaware of that.

Second Life is still around but Fortnite is the shiny new thing attracting tens of millions of players. The interesting thing is that the game evolves from, well, a game to something more open-ended. My impression is that Second Life once was more game-oriented, but since long it’s primarily an open-ended world. Users of Second Life call themselves proudly “residents” and are offended if someone dares calling them “gamers”.

Could it be that the success of a virtual world has less to do with graphics and VR-capabilities and more with the right balance between gaming and autonomous open-ended activities?

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