When I first heard about the newly announced PlayStation Home concept I immediately imagined a combination of Microsoft's Xbox Live community with Nintendo's Animal Crossing virtual world (with just a dash of Wii Miis). After all, we're talking about a 3D virtual world in which Sony PlayStation 3 owners can play in common and private spaces while talking, sharing photos or videos or music, and just generally having fun. Sounds promising, right? While there is much more going on here than one would find in those two elements, I'm curious just how much the PS3 community will support it.
On the surface the service looks promising and enticing: achievement trophies! Streaming audio and video! Customizable avatars! Casual gaming! Chat! Then I remember that I'm very cynical and that so many people become complete (for lack of a better word) assholes when connected to a virtual world and I see no end to advertisements presented as legitimate entertainment, offensive hardcore porn plastered all over virtual apartments, players who log off when about to lose a game (casual game or actual big budget title), some players insulting others with crude and racist language, other players attempting to seduce the younger avatars, and the eventual "hack" that allows players to create anatomically correct naked avatars for the sake of harassing others. Yeah, sure, sign me up for that! So while I see great potential for good things in PlayStation Home and I'd love to be wrong about my beliefs on the issue, we can always count on general immaturity to put a damper on the fun.