In New York Times today there is an interesting article on the new industry growing in China -- the game playing industry. It is not about businesses that designs and builds games, it is people playing games for richer people that don't have the time or energy to do it themselves. So, you pay someone to play the boring parts of the game, or the difficult parts to get some rare treasure. This is a consequence of the growing new economy in virtual worlds. In some games you can use tools and powers that you can buy from someone else. This has created a whole new economy. Some weapons are very expensive. You buy or sell them at places like eBay.
Anyhow, this is not new (except for the outsourcing of playing, at least for me that was new), but it is one more evidence that the two worlds are getting more and more involved in each other. The virtual is not "only" virtual anymore, and the physical is not the only "real" world. It is a consequence of the digital transformation, the transformation of our traditional world into digital material. It is a fundamental change of world matter -- a new material.
Even though we know about the digital transformation and understand its mechanisms it is still difficult to envision where it will take us. I actually see it that way, we are "taken", we are not moving intentionally in a direction that is driven by our desires. So, what kind of ideas and theories do we need to better understand the transformation, better understand where we are going, better understand our own role, and maybe even to better understand what we really want to do with this technology.....?