Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Giving Up Real Identity

My first reaction to Second Life, and the overall concept of  MUD's, was almost exactly what Rheingold predicted it would be.  I mean really, what is wrong with these people?!?!  The desire to leave real life behind for something completely false seems disturbing and wrong to me.  Rheingold discusses the desire to assume new roles in life which helps propel these gaming situations into a form of "reality" for their participants.  These virtual communities create innumerable opportunities for people to leave behind the bonds of their stilted lives and find new, exciting identities.  Unfortunately, beyond the plastic and glass of the computer screen people cannot remain true to their internet identities.  This creates an environment where people are split into different personas - a schizophrenic world where we cannot rely on the accuracy of any representation of those we interact with.  How is it possible to give up your real identity without losing something essential?

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