Thursday, 3 July 2008

Sexing the Avatar



Despite Haraways prediction (hope):

"The cyborg is a creature in a post-gender world; it has no truck with bisexuality, pre-oedipal symbiosis, unalienated labour, or other seductions to organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity."



In Second Life the cyborg avatar is not only gendered fully but highly gendered.



Baudrillard writes that,

"Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas Los Angeles [is] no longer real, but belongs to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation." Los Angeles has become, according to Baudrillard, "a city whose mystery is precisely that of no longer being anything but a network of incessant, unreal circulation -- a city of incredible proportions but without space, without dimension. As much as electrical and atomic power stations, as much as cinema studios, this city, which is no longer anything but an immense scenario and a perpetual pan shot, needs this old imaginary like a sympathetic nervous system made up of childhood signals and faked phantasms.

Second Life is the fake city that makes Real Life real. People come to Second Life to assert a stronger reality to RL, and it seems in an age where gender is deconstructing Second Life is not only NOT liberating the cyborg/human from gender but activitly trying to reinforce the gender differential.
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