I wrote recently that video games are a good value and distraction in light of the difficulties facing the economy. Today, VentureBeat did a Q&A with Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley about developing online games and the economics behind why we keep playing more.
VB: Finally, given the state of economy, is now a good time for MMOs? Will we see a "Snow Crash" effect where people might do stuff in their online adventures that they can't do in the real world, or at least obtain stuff they might not be able to buy in the real world?
JS: What is funny about online gaming is how much people do it. Think of those players that play 20 or more hours a week, and the value they're getting for $14.99 a month. It is a place to go that is cheaper. They don't have to go out to a movie and buy a lot of soda or take part in other activities that cost a lot of money. It is a good spot for people that have a money issues. [Snowcrash], I think so and hope so. Maybe not quite that view of the world, but I hope we get to that level of tech. Of course without the social ills that happen because of it. But I think we can avoid that.