Friday, 8 May 2009

A case study of psychological review applied to Second Life: The Shared Dream



The current credit crisis has caused many participants in Second Life to come clean. That is that fiscal problem have lead to a series of confession of needs and statements of situations by many who had hidden themselves behind masks of Second Life.


I have been reviewing a team of aviator in Second Life. Now lets be clear about one thing, though its fun to make and buy designs for planes in Second Life, in reality flying in Second Life is dull as dish water. There is no good flight simulation software out and you soon crash for lack of PRIMs. The experience is rather dull.


So its hard to see an intrinsic interest in being an aviator in Second Life, accept somehow in something the planes express.


Recently a group of active aviator have confessed to being in RL an extended family dependent upon the auto industry around Flint Michigan, and have presented a number of public pleas for donations and statements of the harm the auto industries collapse has caused with libertarian conservative assertions.


The core psychological situation this activity rests on can thus be described as having 2 major features. Firstly there is a great deal of stress around the failure of the auto industry. The families dependence on car makers have placed the family at grave economic risk. Secondly libertarian and conservative ideas can not explain the event. Auto makers have operated in a free market pursuing profit for years, and they were under a GOP dominated government for most of the last 10 years. Detroit built massive gas guzzlers ignoring the environmentalists, hippies and liberal to produce a generation of massive SUVs.


So how could they be failing now?


Its pretty clear that Second Life is in fact a playground in which these anxieties can be work out. The car, the provider of income that is at risk is transformed in the play of Second Life in to a dream like flying plan. The process of learning to make the flying cars, and fly them is an effort via magic thinking to try and master the anxiety of life. The planes nature of mastery of flight, isolation, and the function of flying on combat all try to reconcile free market ideology through the use of planes.


One can see Second Life functions as a kind of dream state. The anxieties of day to day life are symbolically transformed. Extending on this work one might be able to, in time, decode much of Second Life as a kind of shared dream experience. This is not to be seen as so unusual, shared "dream formation" has been common in art through all of human history. The interesting point is the immersive experience in the artifact, the real time nature but also the potential networked isolation.


Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
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