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From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours--and dollars--partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers--outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide--and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development--online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. Illuminating. . . . Castronova's analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.--The Economist Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.--Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education
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In World-Systems Analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein provides a concise and accessible introduction to the comprehensive approach that he pioneered thirty years ago to understanding the history and development of the modern world. Since Wallerstein first developed world-systems analysis, it has become a widely utilized methodology within the historical social sciences and a common point of reference in discussions of globalization. Now, for the first time in one volume, Wallerstein offers a succinct summary of world-systems analysis and a clear outline of the modern world-system, describing the structures of knowledge upon which it is based, its mechanisms, and its future. Wallerstein explains the defining characteristics of world-systems analysis: its emphasis on world-systems rather than nation-states, on the need to consider historical processes as they unfold over long periods of time, and on combining within a single analytical framework bodies of knowledge usually viewed as distinct from one another--such as history, political science, economics, and sociology. He describes the world-system as a social reality comprised of interconnected nations, firms, households, classes, and identity groups of all kinds. He identifies and highlights the significance of the key moments in the evolution of the modern world-system: the development of a capitalist world-economy in the sixteenth-century, the beginning of two centuries of liberal centrism in the French Revolution of 1789, and the undermining of that centrism in the global revolts of 1968. Intended for general readers, students, and experienced practitioners alike, this book presents a complete overview of world-systems analysis by its original architect.
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The third year in Diana Waring's History Revealed curriculum, World Empires, World Missions, World Wars focuses on world history during the years 1800-1956. Focusing on interpreting history from a biblical worldview, lessons offer an explicitly Christian perspective on world events. Covering the Napoleonic Wars alongside the Modern Missions Movement, the Industrial Revolution to Jim Elliot's martyrdom in Ecuador, this curriculum integrates the historic events in the world with Church history. The Student Text lessons are designed specifically for homeschoolers who have the freedom to learn through multiple learning styles; students are given multiple options for learning that include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modalities, and lessons integrate the four learning styles and eight intelligences. Units open with a list of key concepts before diving into chapters that clearly explain events with a narrative-style tone. Each unit is then broken into four one-week segments, called phases, which cover multiple learning methods and provide the accompanying activities for the lessons. The Teacher's Guide provides an introduction to the teaching methodology of the curriculum, including detailed notes on how to teach each phase. Notes on differentiating instruction begin each unit, and the units themselves have helpful background information and lesson instruction surrounding each reduced-size student page. Recaps, discussion notes, and questions are provided along with some answers (e.g. timeline dates). The Test kit covers the material taught in the Phase 1 stages, and instead of quizzing students on names/places/dates, instead allows students to choose the areas which they are most familiar with, reflecting what they choose to focus their studies upon. Nine tests (one for each unit) are included, along with a separate answer key for each test. The optional Elementary Activity Book provides a way for younger students to work through the same curriculum as older siblings. Following the same four phases as the regular curriculum, mazes, children's songs, art activities, Bible verses to think about, hands-on activities, and simplified narratives provide a way for children in grades K-4 to participate. The three CD-Sets bring history to life through engaging audio narratives. True Tales features stories of fascinating people and amazing events; Digging Deeper tracks look at revivals and the hidden stories of the World Wars; What in the World? provides an overview of modern history. Scriptures are NKJV.This kit includes:Student Text, 427 pages, softcover. Teacher's Guide, 427 pages, hardcover.Test Kit, 9 tests plus answers, glue binding, reproducible for in-family use. Elementary Activity Book, 82 pages, softcover, Grades K-4True Tales 3-CD SetDigging Deeper 3-CD SetWhat in the World? 4-CD Set
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