According to SlashGear, “Star Wars: The Old Republic is launching today and is one of the coolest MMORPG games I have seen in a long time. Any Star Wars fan will want to check this game out. The game launches officially today and last night many gamers around the world lined up to be among the first to get their hands on the game. Anything Star Wars related often means that geeks will be dressed up and apparently, that happened last night in major cities like NYC, Paris, London, and Austin. Players can choose to join with the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. There are eight Star Wars characters to choose from with a Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, and Imperial Agent. The game comes with 30 days of game play. After that first month players need to sign up for monthly service at $14.99 per month, $41.97 for three months, or $77.94 for 6-months.”
Built at at an estimated cost of $115 million over three years this online entertainment is part of the ever-growing world of subscription based massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). The champ in that arena is currently “World of Warcraft” with 10 million subscribers as of November, 2011. That’s millions of people spending tens of millions of hours EVERY MONTH wrapped in a gauze of fantasy, playing alone in a room connecting with other people alone in their rooms to play at being warriors, killers, slaves, vixens, assassins, and various rogues. The amount of time and money we are spending playing online in this manner is staggering.
If “Star Wars- The Old Republic” proves to be as popular then we can expect to see young people loosing themselves online for hundreds of hours per year.
How can we make civic life and politics as interesting? Can we have Massive Multiplayer Offline Civic Life activities please? How can we tap all these players to play in their communities to volunteer, to serve, to challenge, to run for office and change this country for the better?