Sunday, 23 December 2007

Being real in an unreal world

I was having a talk with a close SL friend last night, about the nature of reality.(as you do!) and it got me thinking about all sorts of things.
Why? being the foremost of these questions... and the one that prompted the discussion in the first place.
Why are we all in Second Life? What are we looking for? Is it just a game? or more...

My guess is its different for us all, and perhaps some people would rather not think about it at all, but it has me wondering.
My friend suggested that we might be missing something in our RL, that we can find that in our virtual lives. Perhaps its the company of others?, acceptance, fun, excitement, creativity, consumerism, wealth, desire, or even..dare I say it
What ever it is, if its an emotional thing we are looking for, can we truly get it in the virtual world?
How can we truly know the people we interact with? are our emotional reactions genuine?.

This goes double in a roleplay environment. A character in a RP may behave differently from the person playing that character, as can the RL person playing the SL person, who plays the RP person...(reads this again and thinks hard)

For example: The other day an Acolyte contacted me because they were unsure of the direction they were going within the order. I met up with this person and had a long heart to heart conversation with them, we mulled over the problems and found a way forward. At the end of it, I felt genuinely very warm towards this person, and pleased and happy that we seemed to have sorted the problems out together.
My RL self, had a genuine feeling of happiness....and yet, I have no idea if I really helped this person. Perhaps it was just an act, that they knew exactly what they wanted, and playing the 'game', with me was part of the fun. After all, Wren is not me, she also is a fantasy construct, and part of our RP 'game'....perhaps my genuine feeling was based solely on a false occurrence.....what does that say about me?
Is this deeply disturbing? my friend would probably have me committed!

Strangely in this SL roleplaying world, where we can be who or whatever we want, my character Wren, is actually a lot like me. She's practical, creative, kind, a teacher, friendly and slightly shy.
I wonder if we are actually all playing little parts of ourselves in here, interacting with little parts of others from around the world, and that even if your dressed up as a fairy, a dragon, a mermaid or even a tiny panda, its the way you behave with others that shows some little thing about your RL self.
Perhaps.. and I hope this is true....when we have an emotional response to a situation in the virtual world..the genuine parts of ourselves that are involved, make those emotions valid.

(rubs the wrinkles from her forehead at all this deep thought, and goes to make another cup of tea)


Alphonsus said...

As to the Acolyte, I'm pretty sure that this person is the one who consulted with me first, and I, for one, am quite convinced that the feelings of confusion they expressed were genuine.

And I think it IS different for all of us, but I think that the general differences can be qualified into several different catagories. As to what these catagories are, I haven't really a clue. :)

Anonymous said...

Reality is nothing but
a construct of your mind
so drop illusion by the way
another myth to find.

Come walk with me through visions gate
come sail the sea of dreams
leave all your cares behind you now
and follow whimsey's streams.