I’ve been obsessing over Netflix documentaries for about a year now.
There are never enough to watch.
I am always wanting more, better, another one, etc.
I watched Life 2.0 tonight and it is still sticking with me. I want to discuss it with people, but it seems like no one else is interested in discussing, and it makes me feel… I don’t know… sad and lonely, I guess.
It’s funny because I feel like that’s one of those things I can’t share in real life with people. Only on this random anonymous blog that I hope someone out there in internet land is reading.
Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and put my thoughts here about Second Life, and then I might just get my own avatar and start exploring, just to see what I think about the whole thing. My only real rule for myself with regard to gaming online is that I don’t spend any actual money. Ever. So we’ll see if that’s something that can work out on SL.
In the documentary there were three people. The most interesting to me was the affair that was started over SL that ended sort of in tragedy as the guy basically dumped the chick and moved to India to just move on with his life without her, after saying that he wanted to be with her in New York and get married and have a life together.
The thing about SL is that there are no RL responsibilities. No taking out the trash or taking a piss or walking the dog. You can be recognized for who you really are at a whole new level also, because the danger of rejection is so much less than in RL where you know you might encounter the person again. It is easy to disconnect and not take things personally in a virtual world.
I have always been leery of meeting people IRL that I have only met online. For one thing, Edith. For another thing, anyone can pose as anyone or anything online.
The really crazy part about it though, is that I don’t think most people do this. I think most people, especially introverted people, are much more themselves in virtual life than they would ever feel comfortable being IRL for a myriad of reasons. Religion, anti-trust, fear of arrest or ridicule – you can get away with a lot more in a virtual world and people think you’re cool for doing it or at very least interesting and worthy of friendship – whereas, in RL, if you do certain things people might think you’re scary or crazy or some combination of the two.
As an introverted person myself who holds a lot of fear about revealing my true nature this makes a lot of sense to me. Hell, I keep an anonymous blog. I’ve been stalked IRL. I am bisexual but I’ve never even kissed a girl – which means that many people don’t consider me actually bisexual. I have all these crazy fantasies about The Ex-Boyfriend. I think most people have a very active fantasy life that they realize can never really work out IRL but these virtual worlds allow for all sorts of “safe” experimentation in the realms of our fantasy.
There are also things about SL that would be amazing if they could actually happen in the real world – e.g. Being able to do what you love and make enough money doing it without people obsessing about your qualifications. In SL, you can make actual money based on their in-game currency. That is amazing. There are people whose full-time jobs = selling shit on SL. Can you imagine? You build virtual homes or you design virtual clothing – one woman designs virtual skin. Incredible. And yet happening all the time. The woman in the film said she had a six figure year in the past. Six figures for gaming and being good at gaming.
I watch my son play Roblox and whatnot, and interact with people online – which can be scary, but is the wave of the future, in reality. I think it’s important for my kids to learn to navigate virtual worlds because, at their best, they can teach us about who we really are and we can learn to integrate that into our real lives.
One of the men followed in the documentary was able to come to terms with sexual abuse that happened when he was a child – the game allowed him to admit what had happened to himself and move past that with gusto. He still plays the game, but instead of playing as an 11 year old girl, he plays as himself – and still has a life outside the game.
In other news, it’s raining, which I love.
We’re going to have a tin roof on our new house. I’m so exciting to lay in bed in a house we designed ourselves and listen to the rain pounding on the roof.
It rains quite a lot here – and for this I am grateful.