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The Life One Builds for One's Self.

This is a good assignment because people my age have been having second online identities since we were little kids (I am 21). For example, I play an online game called nation states. It is a game that lets you be the leader of your own cyber nation. The game gives you issues of which you are allowed to choose from, and then ultimately support, or dismiss. In this world, you can also band together with other players (nations) and form regions within the nation states world. My friends and I have done this. It is a fun game because one’s identity is totally confidential, other gamers only know you as the “leader? of your nation state. This is great; because the things people decide to do to their populous…well, I would hope would not happen in real life. As far as my “character? being human, it is not. My character/avatar is a nation, which takes on characteristics based upon the legislation I pass daily. The nation can grow (as it did when I raised taxes) or it can shrink (as it did when I put all people with harpies on a deserted island). Therefore, the game has consequences. Ultimately, this game allows one to gain a second online identity of a world leader, bent on what ever form or life one would want to build for one’s self, and nation.

Nations States is a great example of how we as a society are beginning to become more an extension of the computers we spend so much time using. As Turkle points in Life on the Screen, “many of the intuitions that brought people together- a main street, a union hall, a town meeting, no longer work as they did before.? She continues to state that, “being the social beings we are, we are trying [to use the internet for which we spend all our time on] to re-socialize (p 178).? Nation States is a prime example of people socializing on a web based reality. Nation States is its own world, with social groups dominated by people discussing everything from dictatorships and genocide, to what’s on TV later that night. While many people, as little as twenty years ago would have come together in a non-internet forum to discuss how nations should be run, today one can achieved this without leavening one’s home.

Second Life goes onto prove Turkles assessment that internet based worlds are not to be demeaned as mere play sites as once thought. They are indeed webs of interaction and socialization between people. The real draw of Second life over Nations States lies in first person interaction. While Nations States lets one act on behalf of a nation, in Second Life, one acts on one’s own behalf. In this game, you are…you. Your character becomes an extension of your self, and you have the ability to interact with other people. As if they were next to you in the room. Therefore, society is indeed beginning to draw them into the internet and taking on characteristics, and alternate identities through their computers. According to Kirkpatrick, “More than 2.6 million have checked it out, a figure that in mid-January was growing by about 20,000 per day (CNN 01/27/07). Also, major firms such as IBM are looking to worlds like Second Life as new areas for economic growth. This means that the potential of Second life as becoming a mainstream venue could be a reality.