Thursday, April 17, 2008

Entertainment or Perversion?

Okay well my internet just went out and I ended up losing my whole post, so I'll try to remember what I wrote.
I think that the authors we discussed reveal the spectrum of interpretation in MUDs.  For some people, they are just games, while others perceive them as extensions of reality.  Problems arise when these two groups interact.  For the NYU students, lambdaMOO was a game, they were just joking around.  But for the victims, the events were real.  Some students argued that when users act inappropriately by shooting innocents on games or behaving in ways that are deviant in real society, they are expressing aspects of themselves.  I disagree.  I am not  very familiar with the online gaming world, but I have played video games.  In GoldenEye on Nintendo 64 I am usually voted "Most Dishonorable" and I am merciless in killing other players.  On Grand Theft Auto, I will steal cars, run over citizens, and flee from the police.  These are not latent behaviors of my personality.  While I understand that activities like this can encourage real violence, I don't think that this is always the case.  I would never kill a person or steal a car, and there I don't have any internal desire to do so.  For me, these games represent entertainment.  The danger is, that while most people engage in MUDs for entertainment and social life, some individuals are perverse.  Because of the anonymity of the internet, it is difficult to determine whether an individual is dangerous or not.  While I tend to be skeptical of everyone that is a stranger on the internet, I also recognize that most people are just like me.  While perversion is rampant on the internet, I don't assume that most people's behavior on Second Life reflects their true selves.

1 comment:

myoung said...

For the most part I believe that people that joke around in video games such as Second Life do not fully represent their personality. Most people are able to distinguish reality from virtual reality. But there are some people that cannot distinguish the difference. Most of the people that cannot distinguish the difference tend to be younger people. It is not the kids fault for mimicking the actions that they have done in the video game. I feel it is the parents fault for letting their children play the game and not helping them distinguish the difference.