Saturday, 5 July 2008
Why do I still go to Second Life?
The strangest thing about Second Life is that, unlike much of the Internet the "players" in Second Life all seem to be convinced that use of the virtual reality is pathetic. And the public sense about Second Life is that one must be an utter nerd to spend much time there.
So why do I go? Well partly because it is pathetic. Pathetic though is what guides much of human behaviour. Ignoring your children to work is pathetic, smoking is pathetic, hating other races is pathetic. Social life is glued together by a lot of tape and much of this is pathetic. People acting out base childish needs in the context of a social life which is often unjust and unwise.
I go to Second Life mostly because it gives me a kind of relaxation. I often go when stressed. It relaxes me. That certainly is because it is more controlled, more comfortable, than RL experience.
Over the past 6 months I have lost a lot of the other motivations. I now have little desire to socialise, to shop, to construct, or really to do anything other than take a picture and blog about Second Life.
Also for me there is the interest of my graduate school. I am planning to write a Masters paper on Media and Culture on gender roles in Second Life. Starting an anthropology of virtual reality is very stimulating. But the more I do this the more it seperates me from Second Life itself. I feel myself being seperated from what I see.
But that is my main point about Second Life, that it provides the Outsources Suture that VR gave you an identity at a distance. That this identity at a distance frees the user of many socail and legal duties that go with other forms of suturing to identity. Thus the person becomes someone in Second Life in the same way a company movies call centrers to India or production to Mexico, in the hope of gaining more profit with less risk. Thus the term Outsourced Suture.