Legends of the
Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot. By Julian Dibbell. Basic Books. $15.95.
The artistic impulse is old and, one hopes, undying, but its manifestations change, and there is scarcely any contact between the old-style artistry of Ed Hamilton’s book and the newfangled stuff that underlies Julian Dibbell’s. Legends of the Chelsea Hotel is strictly a nostalgia piece, and aimed at a very narrow subset of the artistic world. This is a
In that case, you may prefer Play Money, which focuses on the far more modern artistic endeavors of a) succeeding in the virtual world and b) making money. Dibble stumbled into his commercial role more or less by chance, he says. He claims that all he really wanted to do was sit in his living room killing lizard men in a kingdom within the virtual world of Ultima Online. These virtual worlds, and the avatars and evil creatures and landscapes of which they are made, are elements of modern artistry every bit as significant today as the words of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were when the