I suppose this makes me a cliche to be blogging in the middle of a tech conference. But what the hell. I just listened to a brief talk by the CEO of Second Life. Second Life is one of those MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role playing games). With these games, hordes of alleged humans log onto virtual worlds, and "live" in those worlds, doing most all the things we do in the physical world (e.g. buy/sell land, make/sell goods, get married, get dressed, dance, etc.). Edward Castronova wrote a fascinating and entertaining academic paper this topic. Here's my take: how pathetic. Not the academics who write about it. Nor necessarily people like the CEO of Second Life who operate these games (although the distinct whiff of "cynical opportunism" did seem to waft from him). No, I'm referring to the people who play these games. To me, these are lost people who can't find sufficient satisfaction in the world in which their bodies live. Here's some evidence for that guess: in all of the scenes from the game that the CEO showed to us at the conference, all the avatar people had idealized human bodies -- i.e. men with buffed muscles, skinny women with narrow waists and full breasts, etc. Presumably, the participants in such games are people who have given up any and all hope that their own bodies could ever become optimally healthy. To me, sites like Second Life are nets for collecting the sad people who get chewed up and spit out by our unsatisfying, corporate dominated world. They are refugees fleeing this false world of ours. Surely the popularity of MMORPGs is yet another sign of the coming apocalypse.