May 25, 2011

Second Life Is A Second Chance, Which Is Why It Fails

the-rachel.jpgmy avatar






A man makes a documentary about Second Life, the online immersive experience, as a way of commenting on the larger issues of internet addiction and escaping from reality.  Is the movie good?  No idea.  Are you about to be lied to?  Oh yes, bring a sandwich.

This is what The New Yorker wrote:

Ingenious... suggests the porous boundaries between the fictive and the concrete, the power of role-playing in defining real identities, and the risky self-discoveries that may result.

Which, like everything else in The New Yorker, means Bush invaded Iraq under false pretenses.  And Variety:

A peerless study... every thread here raises a provocative question about the ethics of online interactivity, and serves to demonstrate the Web's ability to both facilitate and destroy human relationships... a chilling window into the psychology of the internet-obsessed.

There is something presumptuous, not to mention deluded, about a print magazine that no one reads claiming that a movie no one will see is a peerless window into something anyone can access anytime they want.


II.

Ponder that flippant run-on sentence for its hidden truth.  Who judges whom?  What are the criteria for becoming a judge?  It's not popularity; nor the sophistication of the staff and writers; or the insight of a director.  In the hierarchy of authenticity and truth, which one is at the top?  Why can Variety call someone "internet obsessed" but no one can call Variety a "comic book" which, as I am about to show, it is?

There's plenty to be said about the people obsessed with the internet.  But Variety cannot-- not will not, but is physically unable-- to discuss it, because-- well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

This movie doesn't represent a "window into internet addiction." It represents the narrative, the way other people who are not internet addicted are going to think about those who are addicted.

So here's the obvious one, the typical narrative of the "normals": on Second Life she's a Fahrenheit 500, in Real Life she's a fat chick.


second life woman.jpg


Dramatic music, and scene.

The script, the editing, the music, all indicate that this is the message, to "normals": "hey you guys, be careful when you log on to the World Wide Web, people aren't honest."  Catfish, another documentary style movie about facebook, was also presented in this way.  By normals, for normals. 

If you saw Catfish, you cannot help but be struck by the obvious: that normal guy is complete douchebag.  But he can define himself as normal in comparison to someone else; and the bigger the scale of this comparison (e.g. a movie) the more true it is.  So, phew, he's not a loser for falling in love with a facebook profile, let alone driving to Canada or wherever she lived without telling her first, no, she's a loser for lying to him about her appearance.  Oh, that makes sense. 

 

catfish stalker pics.jpg

he photoshopped her into his naked pic to show how real he is


But since he made the movie, it's his version that is the default. Yes, you can disagree with him, but the burden's on you.  Suck it.  So, too, this movie: the message throughout is: "normal people are not like these people."

I accept it's not their responsibility to be fair and objective to Second Lifers.  But don't for a second think you're understanding anything about SL users.  All you're seeing is the filmmaker's bias in HD: there's real life, and fake life, and these people are pretending to be something they're not.  On the internet, no one knows you're a dog.

The thing is, no one on the internet cares if you're a dog, unless they are interested in bringing that world into this one, which they are not.  I run a quasi-anonymous blog, and for the most part no one cares who I am because it isn't relevant to their reading of this blog; and my ego isn't wrapped up in having people know it, so we're all cool.   This movie, much less Variety, cannot comprehend this state of affairs at all.


III.


The film shows a man and a woman finally meeting in real life after a long time together on SL.  They are almost normal because they want to bring the relationship into the real world.    So the man says to the camera, "it's a relief that when we finally meet, she is who she says she is."  What could he mean by that? Of course, duh: she generally resembles her avatar, i.e. she's hot.   

I think we've all been on the receiving end of a westbound Aeroflot flight praying Katya looks like her profile pic, so I don't necessarily begrudge this guy his relief that she weighs less than he does. That's not what makes him insane.  This is: Second Life is completely fake, yet what attracted him to her in the first place was her sexy avatar.  If her avatar was of a fat chick, he never would have connected with her on Second Life.

That's the thinking of someone who isn't "addicted to the internet" who still thinks it somehow reflects reality.  Those SL clothes are fake; that SL hair is fake.  The way she SL kisses is pure game programming, not some derivative of her emotional experiences.  Yet somehow he thinks it's telling him something about the real her.  Does he think that's air he's breathing?

People who escape from reality into SL have a set of problems, obvious problems.  But the people who want it to mirror this one because this one hasn't given them what they "want" are truly nuts.  Why are you reproducing this reality in that one?  The black woman above says her in-game job is to create houses.  Why?  There's no point. Your avatar doesn't sleep, doesn't shower, doesn't anything.  I may think it's a waste of time, but the only reasonable thing to do on SL is to walk around and meet other people, create fantastical spaces, experiment.  Using Second Life to shop at an American Apparel is like dropping acid in order to defecate.


IV.

Everything wrong with Second Life and other online diversions can be summarized by this picture:


second life man looking.jpg

On Second Life, you spend a lot of time looking at yourself.


V.


But give the director his platform, let the subtext become raw text: What the hell is wrong with these people?  What could possibly make them want to give up their real lives in favor of nothing?

I wish they had just asked that explicitly, but then the movie would have to be redone with the cameras pointing in the opposite direction.

When your wife withdraws into 8 hr/d of Second Life, are you completely blameless? Is there no human marriage she could have been in that wouldn't have resulted in her making the jump to cyberspace?   Louis CK: "When someone says, 'I'm getting divorced,' don't 'awwwww' them, because it's a good thing.  No good marriage in the history of the world has ended in divorce."  Or in immersion in Second Life.  Or constant facebook.  Or porn.   Or etc.

Don't confuse longevity with good.  A marriage can last forever as long as the two fleshbots   don't have to interact long enough to hate each other.


"Our real life partners don't know what we're up to," some man says as his avatar makes out with some other avatar by a pretty lake.  "As far as they're concerned, it's just some kind of game that we play."

I don't need 3D glasses to see what's going on in this guy's life.  He may be a tool, but that's not why his wife doesn't take the game seriously.  His real life wife doesn't take it seriously because she doesn't take her marriage seriously.   She doesn't notice he's on the computer all night and distant all day?  Or doesn't she mind, because she's too busy with her own self-absorbed lifestyle, her void filled with [insert junk food here]? 

Look, if you're going to make a movie about something you should at least make sure someone hasn't already written the book, twice.   The conceit of this movie is straight out of Baudrillard, but the director apparently doesn't know it.  Second Life is fake, but it's fakeness is overt.  While we shoot spitballs at the users of SL like jocks at a 9th grader in a 14ft scarf, the true purpose of SL, for us, for those who don't use it, is to make us think that the real world is, indeed, real.  That we're cool.  It disguises the fact that the world outside of Second Life is equally fake and manipulated, but in 3D.  The real world marriage is fake, the words they say to each other are  fake, the politeness is fake, the ideology is fake, and don't get me started on the shoes.  Nothing about it is real.

I know, I know, when "Gallifrey84" kisses "ChasteForJondalar", it's just SL's software simulating a real kiss; but back in the 3D world when that guy kisses his wife, that's even more simulated.  It isn't even acting, which would at least arouse someone watching it.  This "real" kiss is an instinctive, rehearsed simulation of what they saw on TV or used to do in the past.  And no one would get turned on watching it.  "But at least the lips are touching in real life."  So what?  Your lips are real, you aren't.  So?


VI.

Second Life, as an immersive experience, fails because it isn't immersive, it's only two out of the seven senses (penis and vagina).  So it is certainly a poor representation of real life.  But FF three or four generations, maybe we get some holodecks or a fully functional Matrix.  Now what?  Are they running towards something cool or running away from something that's not? You can't get the answer without evaluating the thing behind them.

The reality of it all is simple, which makes it very difficult to fix.  These aren't sick individuals, it's a sick society.  People are being squeezed like silly putty by the fist of branding.  We see the "losers" oozing out of "reality" through the fingers-- some of these losers go to Second life, some to porn; but there's the others who are squeezed more into "reality," into branded clonocity, their existence depends on no one looking at them from the outside and noticing that they aren't actually individuals.  "Huh? What does that mean?  What? Speak English!"

i.e. for example: most hot chicks, in order to be hot, copy something a celebrity wears; remember the Rachel-do?  No problem, they look hot in it; but their delusion is that they are referencing Jennifer Aniston and not the millions of other women with the exact same haircut, i.e. that they draw their identity only from the celebrity's identity-- "This look really says me!"  Yet sit along the wall of the bar and the conclusion is inevitable: yes, you're hot, but you don't look like Rachel, you look like the other hot chick right next to you.  And, bafflingly, you did it on purpose.

If she looks at you with sudden realization; or if she says, "I know, but I still like it," she is free.  If she looks at you like you don't get it, like you're insane, get out, you're in the wrong bar, neither of you will ever be happy.







Comments

I know, I know, when "Ga... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 2:20 PM | Posted by Elfangor91: | Reply

I know, I know, when "Gallifrey84" kisses "ChasteForJondalar", it's just SL's software simulating a real kiss...

Wow, truly awe-inspiring references. I see and raise.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (8 votes cast)
Making movies also lets you... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 2:23 PM | Posted by Dan Dravot: | Reply

Making movies also lets you present yourself to the world as something you are not. In fact, it's less like real communication than Second Life, because the speaker can't hear anybody answering.

All we know about the person who made this SL movie is the SL movie itself. That is to say, all we know about him is that he made a movie all about how these Second Life weirdos are very definitely not him. "Look at these idiots talking to people hiding behind bitmaps all day -- I'll show them who's really plugged into the rest of humanity, I'll make a damn movie!" Oookaaayyy...

Anything creative is, in large part, presentation of something you hope will be mistaken for yourself. Somebody once said that all literature is just one man yelling down a telephone line at another "Damn it, I'm alive!"

---

But I'm not too worried about people not being individuals these days. Were they ever? The Pieter's Brueghel's peasants, are they more or less individual than the girls with the Rachel haircuts? Probably less; people had other priorities in those days than personal expression. Trying not to starve, for example, was very popular.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 28 (30 votes cast)
"The thing is, no one on th... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 2:32 PM | Posted by girl: | Reply

"The thing is, no one on the internet cares if you're a dog, unless they are interested in bringing that world into this one, which they are not."

Thanks for articulating here and throughout this post the antipathy I towards people who adamantly refuse to understand this about the internet.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (9 votes cast)
"but back in the 3D worl... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 2:39 PM | Posted by izrik: | Reply

"but back in the 3D world when that guy kisses his wife, that's even more simulated"

Golden.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (13 votes cast)
No, your ego is wrapped up ... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 5:12 PM | Posted by GUI : | Reply

No, your ego is wrapped up in being the guy who doesn't care if people know who he is. Different side, same coin.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (37 votes cast)
"When someone says, 'I'm... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 6:51 PM | Posted by Reader: | Reply

"When someone says, 'I'm getting divorced,' don't 'awwwww' them, because it's a good thing. No good marriage in the history of the world has ended in divorce."
So very very true.

People immerse themselves in SL (et al) to avoid ripping off the comfort bandaid. Yeah, I hate my husband, but he's always been there and it would be weird to not throw a microwave meal on his desk while he's pretending to not jerk off to pr0n. I think I'll skip calling the lawyer and go play SL all night instead.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (11 votes cast)
Anecdotally, I've discovere... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 7:33 PM | Posted by stucky: | Reply

Anecdotally, I've discovered people who actually believe the phrase, "no one on the internet knows if you're a dog" are people who either a) have been using something like SL for roughly two months or b) really, really bad at getting to know people, and would be just as at a loss if they met them in a bar or cafe.

Pal around with someone for ten to fifteen years on SL (or better yet, a MUD or MOO), and believe you me, you'll know them inside and out. Coincidentally, this holds true for all interaction, no matter the interface.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (24 votes cast)
"the receiving end of a wes... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 7:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"the receiving end of a westbound Aeroflot flight"

Goddamn it, I just came.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (11 votes cast)
Point worth noting: There'... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2011 8:42 PM | Posted by HP: | Reply

Point worth noting: There's an actual exchange rate for SL currency and USD. The lady isn't playing at having an online job which is worthless and pointless; that's her JOB. That's where her real-life dollars come from, too.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 34 (34 votes cast)
like dropping acid in or... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 12:16 AM | Posted by ThomasR: | Reply

like dropping acid in order to defecate.

Greatest simile of all time.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (15 votes cast)
I've pondered these topics ... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 2:25 AM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

I've pondered these topics a lot over the past few years. And I've concluded that I don't know who I am. I sit in my room, alone day after day and bombard my senses with external stimuli so that I won't feel lonely. I don't want to interact with phony people, but I think I'm just as phony as the people I despise. So where does that leave me? Sitting in my well worn chair, commenting on the thoughts of someone I'll never know and waiting for death.

Cheers.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 27 (35 votes cast)
"what the hell is wrong wit... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 2:50 AM | Posted by Aikou: | Reply

"what the hell is wrong with these people? What could possibly make them want to give up their real lives in favor of nothing?"

The answer is, of course, that their real lives are worse than nothing. But you already went there.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (13 votes cast)
best article evah... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 3:11 AM | Posted by marcus: | Reply

best article evah

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -6 (14 votes cast)
"the true purpose of SL, fo... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 3:15 AM | Posted by Dirk Anger: | Reply

"the true purpose of SL, for us, for those who don't use it, is to make us think that the real world is, indeed, real. That we're cool."

Maybe that would explain why there seem to be more articles about SL any given months than there are SL users

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
jezuzchrist how u manage th... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 3:18 AM | Posted by marcus: | Reply

jezuzchrist how u manage this i have no clue...

i think you mean this but i'll say it anyway: it's the observation of the delusion that is significant. the default reaction is value judgement (or assumption of value judgement) on the contents of the delusion, but the contents themselves are just mimicry, which is what we do, we are humans, that is pretty much all we do.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
I sort of agree, and I have... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 3:19 AM | Posted, in reply to stucky's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I sort of agree, and I have several long-term friends around the internet (games, forums, societies), BUT... You can know these people as fully as it is possible with the methods of communication that you have, perhaps better than anyone IRL does, but I would consider myself pretentious if I said I know someone through and through when I've only ever interacted with them on the internet. (Then again, I'm not on Facebook or other online societies where people [allegedly] air every little detail about their lives with wanton glee.) On second thought, maybe I don't agree with you. I think you only get to see facets of people you know on the internet. You might know that facet completely but you are never likely to know everything about the person, not even everything important that makes them who they are. You will know them as a facet, or two or even three, but something will always be unknown to you, out of your reach. But then again, isn't the same true about most if not all human relationships? Somehow, it makes it all the sweeter, for me.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (10 votes cast)
Best post yet. I mean, real... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 3:47 AM | Posted by Zo: | Reply

Best post yet. I mean, really fine—chock full of those brilliant little TLP twists. Bring a sandwich, the New Yorker, westbound Aeroflot (westbound Aeroflot!) defecate, shoes, silly putty ,,, and that killer last line.

Oh he's good.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (9 votes cast)
The fact that Hollywood kee... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 10:57 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The fact that Hollywood keeps making movies about Second Life indicates that, in Hollywood and other hyper-media conscious communities, Second Life is the MMORPUGGER of choice. Therefore attracting Hollywoodians and those who idolize and profit from them. The smart celebrity who wants to avoid drama should play uncool popular things like WoW or Maple Story.

On the Internet, the dogs find their packs much more easily.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Mike, you used 15 first-per... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 11:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Mike's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

Mike, you used 15 first-person pronouns in 89 words (17%). You talk about how lonely you are, but you only mentioned other people to call them phony. You say you don't know who you are, as if there is some essence to be divined beyond a guy who sits in his room, alone, bombarding himself with something or other. At the risk of giving a cack-handed summary of TLP advice, let me explain something:

1. You are what you do. You're a lonely and isolated wretch by your own description. If you want to engage meaningfully with other people, leave your basement and meet some. Engage.
2. The problem is you. It is always you. Don't expect the world to change to adapt to your preferences. It's busy. A Mahayana novice on KP with only ice-cold water from a mountain spring once asked the master how he was supposed to wash the dishes with only ice cold water. The master answered "The way to wash the dishes is to wash the dishes." There isn't any formula to make the world see you the way you want to be seen and make you feel comfortable and recognized outside the basement. Do different = be different. Stop waiting for someone to make you feel special. Make others feel special, and they might just notice when you're not around.
3. http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2009/01/can_narcissism_be_cured.html Wash, rinse, repeat.

I'm no expert and no authority, so you're under no obligation to take this advice, but it might be worth a try while waiting for death. You got time, right? Good luck.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (37 votes cast)
Might want to check out Pet... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 11:50 AM | Posted by Pops: | Reply

Might want to check out Peter Bagge's Other Lives.

http://vertigo.blog.dccomics.com/2009/11/16/first-look-other-lives-by-peter-bagge/

Still fiction, but better than the flick

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
The Real Life black lady ma... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 2:28 PM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

The Real Life black lady may be a fat chick but she looks cute, clean, the jammies match and I have a hunch she's funny too.

Her avatar, on the other hand, doesn't tell me anything.

if she says, "I know, but I still like it," she is free.

She says that line made perfect sense.

Oh, and thanks for calling "the others" on their behavior. You know, the so-called "non Internet obsessed".

Nobody else ever has. It's always "the bad Internet junkie".

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (9 votes cast)
Yep; you've made a cack-han... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2011 4:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by DensityDuck: | Reply

Yep; you've made a cack-handed summary, all right.

At no point in this essay did TLP declare that relationships formed in SL are inherently less "real", less valid, than those formed in real life.

Indeed, the thing you said? About "leave your basement and meet some [other people]"? You're the guy who the movie was made for. The one who needs affirmation and validation, who thinks that hey, my dreams might be unfulfilled and my self unactualized, but dammit at least my friends are totally real friends who are in the real world and everything.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (13 votes cast)
To call on them to give up ... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2011 1:30 AM | Posted by Jake: | Reply

To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
No, actually all the advice... (Below threshold)

May 27, 2011 3:59 AM | Posted, in reply to DensityDuck's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No, actually all the advice given is true and helpful. The basement guy sounds like an angsty teen and is obviously unhappy with his situation. If he actually got out of the house and explored the world he'd see that not everybody is a phony and that some people are fun to hang out with.

He has to keep an open mind though: if he goes out and expects to see phonies (which he will, of course) it won't work. 'Aha! I knew it! I was right all along. No need to hang out with these liars. I'll just go back to my lair and wait for that Real Doll I ordered.'

He has these unrealistic expectations of people because he watches them from afar and doesn't interact with them. Of course they have flaws, they're people. You take the good with the bad. Some people have more bad than good, so those you avoid. Some people have more good than bad, so those you hang out with. Simple.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (18 votes cast)
amazing... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2011 5:17 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

amazing

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
"If she looks at you like y... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2011 4:22 AM | Posted by kai: | Reply

"If she looks at you like you don't get it, like you're insane, get out, you're in the wrong bar, neither of you will ever be happy.". i dont know if you meaning it, but, for me, this is truly poetic.

amazing.

cheers from brazil.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
"Keep It Real, Yo!"<p... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2011 6:51 PM | Posted by Alex-5: | Reply

"Keep It Real, Yo!"

Alone, according to your last example, you ever been to a right "bar"?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
BTW, are you planing on rel... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2011 6:57 PM | Posted by Alex-5: | Reply

BTW, are you planing on releasing "I read TLP"/"I post on PO" bages? According to the comments hell lot of people would love to be branded! :(

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 5 (5 votes cast)
Alternative title: "Simulac... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2011 5:19 AM | Posted by derKapitalist: | Reply

Alternative title: "Simulacra & Masturbation" ;)

(Really, you could rename the blog that.)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
I think I've seen this styl... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2011 9:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by DG: | Reply

I think I've seen this style around.. :)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
From Robert Anton Wilson:<b... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2011 9:44 AM | Posted by mateo: | Reply

From Robert Anton Wilson:
When a critic says a book, or a film, or any artwork “is” dull, what does this “is” mean?
Does it mean—
(a) “Is” in the critic’s nervous system (a relative and neurologically accurate statement, leaving open the possibility that it “is” something else in another nervous system)
(b) “Is” in the Mind of God, and therefore absolutely true
(c) “Is” in the Platonic world of Ideas?
Since critics appear notoriously dogmatic and pugnacious, it seems that meaning (a)—admitting relativity—is not what they mean. Is criticism, then, a form of theology (the only other field that claims access to the Mind of God)? Or are we to take it that they “are” all Platonists? If the “is” in criticism is only a convention, a shorthand, why do critics act as if they mean “is-in-the-Mind-of-God” when challenged?
Consider:
1. It smells bad
2. Its smells bad to me
Which of those appears more in accord with modern science? Which appears more in accord with medieval metaphysics (Aristotelian-Platonic ideas)?
Would you regard it as a monstrous satirical exaggeration on my part, or a mere statement of anthropological fact if I assert that art criticism is the only place in the modern world outside [theology] where medieval metaphysics (the Aristotelian absolute “is”) still flourishes?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Soo good. Such genius.... (Below threshold)

June 3, 2011 6:12 PM | Posted by Snri: | Reply

Soo good. Such genius.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Yeah, SL is an escape from ... (Below threshold)

June 8, 2011 9:57 AM | Posted by Ade: | Reply

Yeah, SL is an escape from reality just like watching tv or reading a book.
I spend time there, but don't have a tv or xbox or even mobile phone and I reckon I spend more time interacting with real people then many people I know who just send texts all day.

Anyway, it is a shame SL is only known for being used by pervs and people running away from reality so hard they keep crashing into trees.
Like the video above, my avatar is not a model but looks like I do in reality.
I don't have virtual sex (just not that interesting), don't have affairs, don't neglect my real partner and would rather shoot my self (both in real and virtual life) then do some of the things seen in that 'documentary'.

In stead I spend time in SL learn foreign languages, visit museums, see art, take part in discussions, 'travel back in time' to Rome or 1920s Berlin, I use SL to create virtual stuff for fun and to my surprise make money with it.
Not a lot but it has paid for my new laptop.

Sadly people doing stuff like this in SL are not very exciting and weird and thus not interesting enough for a documentary.
The Jerry Springer kind of tv still gets more viewers.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (7 votes cast)
>>May 26, 2011 3... (Below threshold)

June 8, 2011 3:36 PM | Posted by Anomalee: | Reply


>>May 26, 2011 3:11 AM | Posted by marcus: | Reply
> best article evah
>Vote up Vote down Report this comment
>Score: -6 (10 votes cast)

Just out of curiosity, why would this post get down-voted so much? It seems pretty innocuous to me. Do we hate marcus? Am I missing something? (again?)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
"Mike, you used 15 first-pe... (Below threshold)

June 8, 2011 9:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by Sfon: | Reply

"Mike, you used 15 first-person pronouns in 89 words (17%)."
He also was honest (presumably) about rather shameful things, and didn't try to pass them off as not counting against him. Narcissists are ruled by shame, and prefer simple narratives where they cleanly dodge all shame. That they are at the core of what is holy, even when they are not, and all that doesn't fit into their life is an abomination.

I say this because that first line comes across as shallow and somewhat shaming. As if he might be able to change this external thing and be fixed or superior. I recognize that is probably not how you intended it.

He might or might not overcome what he describes, assuming he even wants to, but being honest about it and accepting that it is fair for others to think less of him for it are the most important things. It won't automatically qualify him as a "good" person, nothing can, but it'll keep him relatively sane.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
As a person who spent 3 yea... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2011 10:16 AM | Posted by shadowx1110: | Reply

As a person who spent 3 years wasting her life in SL, there's a lot about this article to love... some things not so much. The main thing that strikes me is that you must not be married, because it's obvious you dont have a complete understanding of what it means, or how much something as simple as a kiss differs from one in SL. I do, and I prefer the real kisses. Not because of them being real lips, but because I can tell there is real emotion behind that kiss, there are subtle changes one makes while kissing that changes the meaning of the kiss, there are different contexts and circumstances to have a kiss- for example to provide comfort, or to express appreciation, affection, passion, love. And it's hardly as robotic as second life. Try being caught up in an argument with your partner while watching your avatars robotically making out or dancing.

It is true, that people lie and manipulate in RL. However, it's not nearly as easy as it is in RL. We as humans rely on things like facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, visual clues. These things are masked on the internet and we only know about a person what they choose to share with us. A person can literally be whoever they want and we will be none the wiser. It's far harder for my RL husband to hide things from me than it was for my ex-partner in SL to hide things from me. That's naturally because we physically live together. There is an intimacy there, we know things about eachother no one outside our home can ever know, good and bad. That's as real as you can possibly get.

The main thing I found in those "weirdo" people who chuck their real lives away for "nothing" as you so correctly said, is that they are just lazy to get these things in RL for themselves. With little to no effort you can be attractive, have mansions, have everything you ever wanted in a fake life. Living the fantasy is just as good as living the real thing right? What these people dont get is that with some effort, patience, and willingness to become better than you are you CAN shape your reality to somewhat match your dreams. Instead, they immerse themselves in self-pity and decide to give up on themselves and they havent even really given themselves a chance. You know why? It's just easier to give up and look to others to validate you. People like this will always be losers because they believe they are and will never take any steps to make themselves winners.

I agree with you, it would have been far more interesting if more questions had been asked in this documentary. I would have loved to see the people in this actually reflecting and thinking about what they were doing and what it really means.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
I'd like to point out a cou... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 10:38 AM | Posted by Observer: | Reply

I'd like to point out a couple of things you missed.

The first thing is something called Gamification. You know, assigning points to certain actions, and if you get enough "points" you "level up", that is, you gain new powers. Gamification preys or plays on human addictive behavior. It's the Vegas one-armed bandit brought to online venues.

You'll see gamification in World of Warcraft, obviously - but also in online "games" like Farmville. And it's coming to other forms of online interaction. Check out reddit.com, a very popular online community, with its "karma" and "trophies".

Immersing yourself in a thoroughly gamified environment looks a lot like masturbation. So maybe you could investigate gamification - I'm sure you'd have a lot to say about it.

The other thing is Rehearsal. You can use online environments to safely rehearse things you wouldn't dare do in real life. In the movie Gamer (2009), this theme was explored in the online games Slayers and Society. What's really interesting about this is how the games aren't "online" - the avatars are flesh and blood, real people who have to prostitute themselves to survive. So the customers, safely at home in their living rooms, inflict real damage on real people.

See also: Hikikomori.

I think there's a legitimate concern that people might learn antisocial or destructive patterns of behavior in "safe" and highly immersive online or gaming environments, and then transplant those behaviors to the real world where they do real damage.

The potential for brainwashing is definitely out there as the environment gets more immersive and people find it harder to disconnect from those environments.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (8 votes cast)
Is the TLP blog any differe... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2012 10:53 PM | Posted by Hilo: | Reply

Is the TLP blog any different than SL, or a documentary about SL? TLP is a place where I can escape to in order to pretend that these ideas are somehow a part of me, even though I neither truly understand them nor do I contribute to them. That way I can say "I'm the type of person that reads TLP," and somehow that makes me smarter than people that don't. And in the end I'm just a consumer of something somebody else created that I identify myself with.

So what's the difference?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
I tried Second Life.<... (Below threshold)

August 30, 2012 6:51 PM | Posted by Frank: | Reply

I tried Second Life.

Near the end of my trial of testing it, I told one user that it's not for me and I prefer to do things in a real tangible life. The person tried to use some sort of psychology mumbo-jumbo on me, "What's really going on in your head..." and that I should stay in Second Life. No thank you.

The users I came across in Second Life were either sickly, crippled, and/or lazy people. Another class of people were just like what you see on The Jerry Springer Show.

I don't care if some of them are confined to a wheelchair...read a book or get a rewarding hobby. Do something other than sit and stare at the SL pixel crap fantasy and make-believe.

I will never understand why they enjoy to sexually animate their avatars. I hate to think what the they are doing or thinking while sitting there watching their avatars have sex.

To me, this alone makes them some of the most pathetic people in this world.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -6 (8 votes cast)
"...I told one user that it... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2012 6:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Frank's comment, by Doug: | Reply

"...I told one user that it's not for me..."

Great, it's not for you, though being judgmental and critical of people you don't know is? Please tell me if I'm wrong, though the message I get from your post is, "Anyone who doesn't do things that I approve of I will chastise."

"The users I came across in Second Life were either sickly, crippled, and/or lazy people. Another class of people were just like what you see on The Jerry Springer Show."

Frank if you were looking in places that you found people like that, then what exactly were you doing? There is a lot of depravity in Second Life, for sure. Whores, "Escorts", Prostitutes, Brothels, and the like, and even though its almost impossible to avoid gaining the knowledge that those things exist, it is not impossible to avoid meeting the people who partake in those sorts of activities. Mr Miagi said it to Danielson the best, "Danielson best way to avoid punch is to not be there," which of course means, If you don't want to meet whores, stay out of whorehouses.

"...read a book or get a rewarding hobby."

I have seen in my life, books destroy someones life just as I've seen immersive games and hobbies do the same. I believe the key here is in moderation. Could you not agree with me that even something like Second Life for a few hours a week might not be so bad? Some people like it, and consider it their hobby. Though I can see that there is a blurry line that when crossed problems are either created, or discovered with ones life.

"I will never understand why they enjoy to sexually animate their avatars. I hate to think what the they are doing or thinking while sitting there watching their avatars have sex"

Perhaps they are perverted Frank? Though how much worse could they be than someone who goes to a porn shop and sticks their privates through a 'glory hole?' Though what does that say about you, you walked into second life and observed this behavior, and being an educated worldly person like yourself, you had to know it was going on, how could you not? You could have still avoided those people and those areas if you chose to. But you entered Second Life and obviously went to those areas. Behaviors like that aren't new, or different, they've just moved to a new medium; the computer. So you hate to think about what they are doing at the keyboard? That to me suggests you have thought about it, and hated what you imagined, is that because you hate yourself for thinking about what someone else was doing, or that you are angry for not joining in? I can see the attractiveness in what those types of people do, no disease, no crazy murder met from craigslist, no heartbreak, no embarrassment. If people are going to masturbate more power to them, what is wrong with them having a wank with a partner? Sure they could get a girl/boyfriend in real life, but maybe they don't want to be bothered with all that?

"To me, this alone makes them some of the most pathetic people in this world."

When you say 'this world' are you referring to Second Life, or the actual 'real world?'

Sure, as you've guessed it I play Second Life. My hobby. I don't enjoy reading, and video games have been my hobby for nearly thirty years. Yes, I can read. I have a piece of paper on my wall that proves I can read and that I have social enough social skills to make friends.

Not everyone in Second Life is a pervert, freak, or in some way disabled. I'm not, though I could just as easily be the exception as the rule. I'm sure at one time or another Ive suffered from what is called 'internet addiction' and I could write many pages on how I felt and what I was thinking, though I'm not that person anymore, when fixed myself, got my diploma and degree, and got a better job, I didn't want to live inside of a game anymore. Now I just take short visits.

People who live inside of Second Life, need help, need a friend, need a hand, not to be crushed down even further. They are there because there are many people there also just like them, who accept them, and don't criticize or chastise, who just spend time and share conversation with them, it is somewhere safe to go, like a womb. With people saying things like you have said Frank, do you think they will ever come out while you are around?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
shadow projection...<... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2012 12:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Frank's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

shadow projection...

if it bothers you that much, it's probably something in you that you're repressing/denying/ignoring.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
LOl second life inst a chan... (Below threshold)

April 17, 2013 12:24 AM | Posted by lol: | Reply

LOl second life inst a chance makes delusional people more stucked of reality.Second life also become addiction and is dangerous one like all the real drugs people needs lot of realization.majority of people go into clubs and put real money to fix their avatars. They are out of reality they act and think with their avatars its mind blowing border delusional. There are a lot of sick individuals in some places or sick fucks. here is some rant about people that cannot get off:

http://chicago.listlux.com/ads/?idc=119&&id=51431&&p=success

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
I dunno, I think to a degre... (Below threshold)

April 17, 2013 8:37 AM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I dunno, I think to a degree role-play can be good. Not to the point of spending all day doing that, but as a way to think through any number of issues that you come across on a given day.

It also in some ways makes you aware of how arbitrary your supposed personality is. The supposedly "good person" will participate in murders with glee given the proper context for doing that thing. It's probably good to know that about yourself. It's good to know that you will cheat given the proper context and stimulous even if your spouse knows that.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I'm very disgusted by my SL... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2013 12:17 PM | Posted by AGirl: | Reply

I'm very disgusted by my SL experiences.

I'm still open minded on listening to the possible positive facets of SL though in case I missed things. So if anyone knows a way to convince me and shows of worthwhile things that can happen in SL, please do tell me.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
There is plenty worthwhile,... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2013 2:07 PM | Posted, in reply to AGirl's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

There is plenty worthwhile, but your mileage may vary depending on what specifically your deal is.

I've seen people who suffer from severe social phobias use it as training wheels for dealing with other people.

Some use it as a device to explore elements of their sexuality that may not be acceptable to display in public, or may be tenuous enough for the person to be unwilling to risk revealing it to friends or relatives.

There are those who practice entrepreneurship in a relatively safe environment, whether they are using it as a training set or as a serious future venture. SL being more or less risk free makes it a good place to try out business ideas, advertising methods, or management skills.

Some use it as a free dating service, or as an alternative to a real life bar, to meet people or try out pickup lines.

I've seen people hold seminars to educate others on whatever topic, whether it was to practice teaching in a safe environment or just for personal love of it I'm not sure.

So basically SL is good for practicing/performing any non-physical skill you want, with limited or reduced consequences for screwing up or having a change of heart.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I can't believe some of the... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2014 10:57 AM | Posted by MsMary: | Reply

I can't believe some of the freaks I have run into on second life. There was one AV, AbbyGail Snowbear that wanted to role play a bottle up the butt. She/he (an obvious man behind the avatar) freaked out when I did not want to role play that sickness. Her/his profile was full of lesbian sex groups, stating he is in second life to have the sex life that is denied him/her in real life.

WTF?? I have met some SL freaks but he was the worst. So many use second life as an interactive porn site. It is free if you find a partner. I think it is full of underage boys like AbbyGail, who can't legally use internet porn sights & SL just asks if you are of age. Like kids, & SL users never lie.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)

Post a Comment


Live Comment Preview

November 22, 2014 11:23 AM | Posted by Anonymous: