Virtual Worlds and Their Impact on Society - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-11
1807 words
7 pages
16 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

A virtual world refers to a computer-based simulated environment through which subscribers can interact with one another and use the tool to create new objects. A virtual world may also be called a digital world. This topic appeals to me because as a student and a researcher; it provides a platform to explore the potential of digital media for experimental economics. Also, this topic provides a range of new ideas on the significance of digital data. Apart from that, the topic I have chosen influences many aspects of our daily lives. Therefore, by discussing the topic, I will identify new information on the significance of virtual worlds to the users.

Section Two: Summary of the Topic as Presented in Class

Today, the increase in the number of digital media subscribers directly influences people's everyday livelihood in various aspects of life such as work and the civil society. Even though there exist some negative impacts of this technology, still, much of the effect is beneficial to the user and the society. Digital media technologies have helped to transform the world into a global community whereby people can interact at any time regardless of the distance between them. Also, when people communicate, diversification of knowledge becomes easier thus enabling people to acquire experience in different academic fields.

Apart from that, advancement in digital technologies also influences how organizations and companies conduct their businesses (Qualman, 2010). It is no doubt that these improvements have an impact on media operations and other business dynamics. For instance, the primary paradigms of media operations like production, distribution, and consumption of information must adjust to these reforms to remain competitive in the market. Also, the aspect of digitalization influences how consumers relate to the companies. For instance, through social media, customers can carry out transactions such as the ordering of goods and make service inquiries. Lastly, most organizations today have incorporated digital and social media services in developing marketing strategies like advertising and the analysis of potential markets for goods and services.

Section Three: Additional Research

This section applies information from articles titled Media, society, world: Social theory and digital media practice and The internet and the mass media by Couldry and Bakker respectively. The source by Couldry is relevant and unbiased as it highlights in detail how digital media has revolutionized communication. The article by Bakker is also relevant to the study. The author is a prolific writer thus I am highly confident in his work. The two sources contribute the following information as presented in class.

Firstly, digital media promotes social interaction and empowers people. Through the use of digital technologies, people can connect with their friends, workmates, or families from anywhere across the globe. It enables those who are marginalized or socially isolated to communicate with others across the globe (Couldry, 2012). Through digital media, such people can easily access social media platforms and solicit empathy and support from sponsors and the government. Digital press facilitates interaction between people through various aspects encompassing dynamics like social, economic, political, and religious boundaries.

Apart from aiding interaction and empowering people, digital media also gives people a voice by offering them a platform to express their ideas and grievances (Bakker, & Sadaba, 2008). During crises like war, earthquakes, hurricane attack, or tsunamis, digital media has been used to draw public awareness on the matter. In the event of a calamity, organizations have employed this technology to mobilize for assistance. During the 2015 Nepal earthquake, users from all over the world contributed a sum of over $2 million in just a few days to help in supporting the victims.

Digital Literacy Fundamentals

This section attempts to access, analyze, interpret, and evaluate digital media regarding skills and competencies that fall under the concept of digital literacy. This chapter also utilizes materials from other authors like Nawaz and Druschel. This part also calls for the application of the "Four Cs," that is, communication, creation, critical thinking, and collaboration skills (Nawaz, & Kundi, 2010). All these concepts are significant in developing skills such as higher level concentration, analytical abilities, and idea processing. I will use the information provided below to expound on the fundamentals of digital literacy.

"LAS VEGAS- A man stationed at a hotel window on the 32nd floor of a casino in Las Vegas unleashed a hail of bullets indiscriminately at fans attending an outdoor country music festival. The case of the shooting resulted in the death of at least 59 people and injuring 527 others, as hundreds of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, authorities said. The SWAT team used explosives to access the hotel room of the shooter and found he had committed suicide. The police also recovered nineteen riffles in the room, hundred rounds of ammunition".


Although there was no immediate word on what motivated the attack, the numerous riffles, and ammunition discovered from the criminal indicated that he was planning a large-scale massacre. Also, the Department of Homeland Security denied the possibility any specific, credible threat involving other public venues in the country. Despite claims by the Islamist States of being responsible for the shooting, the Chicago Police reported that there was no evidence to prove that the attack was part of a more massive terror attack.

Investigations carried out by the police also indicate that Paddock, 64, had booked a hotel room at Blackstone Hotel, two days before the concert. Paddock even booked a second room a day before the Lollapalooza Festival opened. The management of Blackstone Hotel confirmed in a statement that the rooms were registered under Paddock's name, but he never checked in on those dates. Both condos had a checkout date of August 6, corresponding with the final day of the festival, which often attracts hundreds of thousands of music lovers.


So far, investigations indicate that the shooting was a one-man doing. There is no specific evidence proposing that the attacker, Stephen Paddock, had an acquaintance who helped him in executing his plan. Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was named by the FBI as a "person of interest." However, according to Danley's sisters, Paddock had sent her to the Philippines, seemingly to be far away during the attack. Therefore, we can exclude Danley from having any connections with the offense, as she was not present in the country at the time of the shooting. Also, because the condos booked by Paddock before the concert had same checkout date, we can assume that he was planning an escape.

The FBI is also investigating into a matter whether a concert by Chicago's Chance the Rapper was the perpetrator's original target. A month before the attack, Chance had performed at the annual Life Is Beautiful Festival at the same venue where the shooting occurred. Investigations show that Paddock had rented several condos overlooking this year's Life Is Beautiful Festival. The shooter's motive of renting several condos during the earlier event and later targeting Route 91 Harvest Festival is unclear. Even though the Islamist States (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, there was no evidence to prove the claim hence it was dismissed by the FBI.


The motive for the attack remains unknown. Several theories have emerged about what might have motivated the attack. So far, there are only two concrete leads on what might have led to the shooting. Firstly, based on the conclusion that the assailant might have targeted a different venue initially before changing his mind. The rented condos overlooking the Life Is Beautiful Festival indicate that Paddock might have intended to carry out his acts at this festival. Possibly targeting Chance the Rapper Also, the assailant might have rented the condos to reduce the possibility of choosing the wrong venue.

Still, we cannot base our conclusion on any of the theories as that will bias our report. Labeling the act as a terror attack does not hold water. Analysis of Paddock's computer, cellphones, and other electronic gadgets has not uncovered any apparent ideological motive, connection with any extremist or activist groups, or any show of mental disorder. Therefore, by weighing our findings, we cannot precisely elucidate what motivated the shooter to start firing at innocent civilians. It is evident that understanding the mind of Paddock would be difficult now that there is no account he left explaining his actions.

Social, Legal and Ethical Considerations of Digital Media

Digital media ethics refers to the different ethical problems, norms, or practices of digital news media. The ever-evolving media ecology calls for the establishment of moral issues regarding safety and security of the data. Such ethical concerns for safety and security include social networking, acceptable use policies, as well as internet privacy (Drushel, & German, 2011). The former refers to a broad category of websites and services that enable people to connect with other users online as well as meet those who matter in their lives or those whom they share with similar interests and hobbies. Such websites include Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.

Acceptable use policies refer to a set of terms and conditions set up by network administrators regarding acceptance of their technology needs. Contained in this policy include service charges, the age requirement for the user, and so on. By reading the terms and conditions, the user becomes aware of the type of content he or she is about to access. Lastly, internet privacy ensures the protection of the user's credentials, passwords, and confidential information. Digital media administrators track every move made online by internet subscribers. They are also able to identify the location of the user using IP addresses.

Lastly, the ethical considerations of digital media encompass dynamics such impartiality, conflicts of interest, and partisan journalism. For example, new media provides a stage for people to express their thoughts and views honestly. Today, bloggers and journalists are encouraged to take pride in voicing societal concerns and report events without biasness (with impartiality). Lastly, partisan journalism involves providing comments on issues and ideas without first verifying the authenticity of the information. Partial Journalists also employ social media platforms to serve the interests of political parties, individual politicians, and movements. However, such practices compromise the traditional norms of journalism and thus should be avoided.


This paper attempted to discuss the impact of virtual worlds in the society. We primarily focused on the field of digital and social media. From the illustrations in the essay body, it is evident that digital technologies are today a necessity in our everyday lives. People from various ethnicity and social backgrounds can communicate with friends, families, workmates, and relatives regardless of the time and distance. This paper also identifies the contribution of digital media in the transformation of communication, arguments, or ideas. That said, this essay also provides insight on the fundamentals of digital literacy through the analysis of a particular news, that is, the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Lastly, covered in this piece include the legal and ethical considerations of digital data concerning best practices in dissemination and ret...

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