Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Finding Sex in IMVU, Freud in the Metaverse
A chat room in IMVU is like an island in Second Life. It was smart to lay the world out like this, Second Life's map is just a lot of overhead to Linden Labs and no one really uses it or is aware. The entire "map" with continents things broke down a long time ago as Second Life evolved in to Islands. IMVU is more a set of rooms, but many of the rooms are walled with what looks like landscape. Essentially they are setting up single spaces for people to TP in to, which is what people do with SL already.
Oh and in #1 Hospital in IMVU I encountered the first references to sex play. Its pretty clear a lot of kids are doing cyber on IMVU, but I would strongly recommend against it. The population of children on it and lack of age verification in most places could land you in real trouble quick. And if you are under 18, I think this is the wrong way to explore you sexuality.
I think Virtual Reality will always be pushed towards collaborative porn. Users will find ways to masturbate. Something about the anonymous status, the virtual environment itself which reduces inhibitions, people's past experience with the Internet being full of porn, and the Outsourced Suture, meaning you can "pull out" at any point you feel uncomfortable.
What I think happens is that when someone takes on an Avatar in most Virtual Realities they are doing something very much like dreaming or movies. The Reality Principle as defined by Freud suddenly becomes far more fluid. The laws governing what one can do change and many things about our identity that are fixed by biology and culture become more fluid. We also enter a very limited world where we get very little information from the people we interact with, which means are imaginations fill in the rest.
In this situation sexuality naturally emerges as a key driver, and we will probably always see sexualization of virtual worlds.
Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life