Every game we play gives us a quota of lives to help us overcome the hardships presented to us within the digital world. Even if lives are not given as part of that particular world, we are usually afforded the option to retry an event that we failed at, or wish to improve upon. Taking this idea further once we complete a game, we can if we want, restart from the beginning and play completely differently to how we did in our previous play through and aside from any purposely built alterations in your second go, you will have the gift of foresight, of knowing what is going to happen next.
Much different then, to real life where you don’t get retries and are not awarded lives for finding 100 coins. So what happens, then after we die for real? (heavy I know) In an increasingly technologically driven environment our interactions require some form for of on-line personality to represent us and games too are beginning to require an increased on-line presence too. Our physical selves may have gone to the prearranged afterlife of your choosing, but your on-line presence lingers on.
Those of a sentimental disposition might be keen for their digital selves to live on, after all if you’ve spent a life time building up your virtual world you might not want to see it come crashing down when you are no longer around to maintain it. The idea of passing on your digital belongings is a relatively new one and as such there are no rules in place to facilitate such a request, were you to ask it.
On the 20th of May a group businesses in the fields of data management and social networking got together to ask these types of questions. Known as Digital death day the subject matter crossed a broad spectrum of issues from your Facebook profile to bequeathing your digital fortune in MMOGs to your heirs.
“We have received several questions from users and request for guidelines on our policy and the manner in which they should regulate their own wills,” says David Simmonds of Project Entropia, “but specific virtual items cannot be inherited by different persons – only the access rights to the account as a whole.”
As you can see from the above quote, gaming companies still hold all the keys to passing on on-line accounts and could in theory delete your information after a set period of inactivity. Since this is a relatively new concept I suspect such Idea will only grow and sooner or later we will have lawyers who specialise in digital inheritance and when that happens, no doubt the tax man will come knocking too.
Anyone planning on leaving behind their on-line accounts to future generations, should check out the full article at BBC