Friday, May 21, 2010

Anonymity

Tabitha Eichel made a great long comment on the Linden's drive to link our SL and RL identities, which was republished by Hamlet Au on his New World Notes blog. Here's the heart of the matter:
Why is it so hard for some people to believe that a large portion of the Second Life community is there for escapism and not to interact with real identities? This escape was what made Second Life desirable for many people. Not everyone is beautiful, popular, confident or whatever in the real world. There are many difficulties interacting with real people, that were negated in Second Life. It didn't matter what you looked like or where you were from. That made Second Life great for us.

But now, just like in real life, the beautiful, confident, fully-abled, popular people are calling the shots.
Quite right*, and it's why the Lindens are absolutely wrong to force this integration. Read the rest here.

I'm not quite as happy with the word "anonymity" though, because I think that our identities in SL are not truly anonymous but rather pseudonymous: I don't know the RL name of the person behind the SL avatar "Agatha Macbeth," but after talking to her for half a year, I feel that I know that person quite well.

We are not blank pages. We have identities in SL, we have reputations and histories and connections here. I'll expand on this idea later.

* I'm a bit uncomfortable with "escapism," but that may be just a question of vocabulary.

4 comments:

  1. Botgirl (among others) has been doing a lot of thinking about pseudonymity; here's a post of hers from last November, and her latest also has some bearing on degrees of pseudonymity vs degrees of its opposite, disclosure.

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  2. Thanks for the tips, Lalo!

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  3. 'Quite' well? I'd say you know me *very* well [and vice versa] :))

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  4. Semantics, Aggers, semantics :) But yes, I'd agree with that one.

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