Huntington, Ind.—Edward Castronova, associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, will speak as part of Huntington University’s Forester Lecture Series at 8 p.m. on March 25 in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. His presentation will explore the world of online games and the state of human interaction among game participants.
Castronova received his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. He is an expert on the economies of large-scale online games and has numerous publications on that topic. His latest is a book, “Exodus to the Virtual World.”
“I study synthetic worlds: online environments where thousands or even millions of users share…geographic space at the same time” Castronova said. “These places, billed and sold as games, actually seem to be offering something more than mere entertainment. They act as a fantastical alternative to ordinary life, and as such they pose a significant challenge to business-as-usual in ordinary society: markets, public policy, politics, law, romance.”
An example of a pressing issue that Castronova studies is the extent to which people are paying real money to buy items for their game characters. This blurs the distinction between the game economy and the real one.
“As a parent and a gamer, I am both excited and concerned about these developments,” said Castronova. “The objective of my work is to increase our understanding of this technology.”
Huntington University presents the Forester Lecture Series each semester. The lectures are designed to bring interesting people and topics to the attention of students and the regional community. All lectures are open to the public free of charge.
For information about the Forester Lecture Series, log on to www.huntington.edu/fls/.
For more information about Castronova, visit his Web site at http://mypage.iu.edu/~castro/.
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