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Virtual worlds are upon us. Games are now among the most lucrative parts of the entertainment industry, and an increasingly important segment of computer games are massively multiplayer online games featuring tens of thousands of players. These games are far more complex than the previous generation of first-person shooter games where the object is to move around a space and fire at objects, monsters, and people. They involve entire worlds of activity, where people can take on and develop multiple identities, create virtual communities, and tell their own stories.

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