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I'm a Man in a Suit... Not a Level 47 Warrior

In my experience with an online identity, I’ve never used my real name. The closest thing to my real name is my identity on this blog, as it is my U of M identity. However, with the Second Life interface, I would be more inclined to use a real name, maybe not my real name, but a name that could be real. This is because unlike a messaging program like AIM, or a game like World of Warcraft, it is meant to mimic real life. You can even buy your own land, and it is tempting. As for avatars, I usually don’t try to make them look like me, although I have used a picture of myself as an avatar in some online forums. In the Second Life interface I would not want to make an avatar that looks like me. I see the Second Life as a way to lead a second, simultaneous life, and what fun would it be if you looked the same in both lives?
“’Nintendo has a good one [game] where you can play four characters. But even though they are very cool,’ he says, ‘they are written up for you.’ They seem artificial. In contrast, on the MUDs…he says he feels free.? (Turkle, 236). The freedom to create an avatar that looks however a person wants it to look is definitely what is making the Second Life interface so popular. In comparison to a video game, this interface seems less childish. It isn’t marketed as a game, in fact, the opposite. Sex clubs and bars are something that isn’t seen in video games, and IBM executives in suits indulging in an online world is proof.

Comments

I also have not used my real name on anything releated to revealing my online identity. Except for this blog as you have also. I agree with you that the secondlife interface is not marketed as a game, but as a life simulation of sorts. I just really found it amazing that people actually spend a lot of money on purchasing virtual land and islands and businesses. It just astonishes me.