You introduce your game to a couple of your closest friends. They log into the game-matrix, start to play and begin to like the game… They tell others about the new game. Those too enter, play and like it… Others tell others… mouth to mouth… – Viral marketing…
The news spread like wildfire. More and more beings enter the game and start playing. Your game turns out to be a great success.
Meanwhile you continue with your programming job.
Months pass… before you begin noticing your friends often aren’t available. They’re spending much time in your game.
All the other folks who entered the game, spend more and more time in the game too. They start neglecting their normal lives, their jobs, their relationships and social life.
So much fun, so much thrill, so many areas to explore, so many evil counterplayers to defeat, so many adventures to experience.
Not to speak of those lovely avatars. You created them so cute, people really like to identify with them.
They build new communities in-game, make all sorts of virtual friends, whom they would not have met normally.
It it so much more fun to collect all those quest items, trade them and build up status. The game activities consume almost all attention of your players.
A large portion of society has become addicted to the virtual reality.
Before long their bodies will die as the players forgot to care for them, don’t feed them, don’t wash them. Society is about to break down, no one pays their bills, no one produces anything.
The players forgot who they really are.
Their bodies outside the game are tightly asleep, their “new life” inside the game is all they remember.
A few players, who joined the game relatively late though, haven’t forgotten completely. They start wondering: “Have we always been here? If not, where do we come from? Is there a world beyond? Can we get out of here? Who made all this? Is there a creator? Has he forgotten us?”
They gather in groups to discuss these mysteries – while others, who reside in the game already for a very long time and have forgotten about the outside world, spread their “truths”. One of these truths is, that once an avatar has expired, a player has to pick up a new one and continue with playing the game – a kind of reincarnation-theory.
In short, your game has become literally such an overwhelming success, it has become a trap for the beings inside.
What to do?