Keywords: soft power, MMOGs, virtual worlds, public diplomacy, video games, virtual reality, massively multiplayer online games, imagination, cultural dialogue, cultural exchange, cultural identity
The 'soft power' of virtual reality
'Soft power', the 'ability to get what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals'. Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are evolving to entertain, educate, and engage us individually. They will allow us to express ourselves, meet others, and create things that we can only dimly imagine. They will enable us to share and combine these creations, to build vast playgrounds. And more than ever, the virtual worlds that games provide will be a visible, external amplification of the human imagination. These virtual worlds can offer the field of public diplomacy a valuable new environment.