Thursday, April 17, 2008

Virtual Discussion

Regarding whether the actions performed in Second Life are reflective of the person we are, I find it interesting that some do not take responsibility for their actions in Second Life. It was commented that, "just because my avatar is dressed like a houchie, doesn't mean that I am in real life." I agree that it doesn't mean that you are a houchie in real life, but I think you need to ask yourself why you chose an avatar with those qualities. Another person mentioned they made their avatar weird and different than  everyone else's in order to stand out, or provide a contrast to the absurdity that everyone wanted to be handsome, pretty, strong and beautiful. Whether you are seeking to create an avatar that is an extension of the person you are in "real life" I think it's important to consider that the decisions you make in Second Life are not removed from your personal responsibility or that they are not an extension of yourself. 

Individuals which normally find themselves shy and awkward around others, when entering Second Life may find they are more outgoing and active around others. Why is this online persona not an extension of who they are? Is the way they perform in "real life" the standard to judge them by? 

It seems that Second Life provides a "no holds barred" approach to desires and will of users. It is a place of freedom where users have the ability to do what they want regardless of boundaries. We brought up the situation in which a user was raped, as mentioned in the Ribbel article. If we attempt to hold everyone accountable in Second Life for their actions then we are truly creating a reality that is reflective of our current "real" one, and what is the point of it in that case? 

Well, even if there are rules or laws applied to Second Life, the benefits are still substantial. I find it particularly fascinating to consider the possibilty of visiting places normally you would not have the option of visiting in real life. Examples of these could include museums, colleges, shows, performances, mainly entertainment it seems, taken in the form of auditory and visual stimulus. But to consider the possibility of education being taught is fascinating to consider. We mentioned that disenfranchised and low income individuals may be given the opportunity to attend and receive educations. The results of these actions is monumental to consider. Of course there are pitfalls and implications to consider but you never know until you try. 

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