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You can call me Moondog

It is interesting for me, when looking at the creation of my online identity, that my "real world" identity becomes increasingly similar as time passes. I think when I first started posting in forums and chatting online I was very self concious about what I said and the impression of myself that I gave to others. In this sense I used the pseudonym Moondog because my aunt told me I looked like that character in the movie Gidget. This allowed me to represent myself in a physical sense but gave me the oppurtunity to create my own online identity. My personality is very outgoing and socialable and as time passed the image I created online of myself became more identical to the image I wanted to represent in reality. Now, as I post online or chat, I am completely comfortable with allowing others to see me as the person I am. My use of avatars does not directly corrolate with the online community but more towards game consoles. I enjoy creating characters or players that I think accuratel represent myself. However, I myself think that I choose character traits that maybe do not accurately represent how I perceive myself but how I want others to perceive me. The social implications of this are huge mainly as Turkle raises to question on page 178, does this use of online personalities satisfy our humanistic needs to be seen, touched, and acknowledged?

As I looked through the SL website I was amazed at how many people are already participating in this online phenomenon. Irving Wladawsky- Berger states in the last paragraph of "It's not a game", that virtual worlds are currently at their developmental stages and the abilities we have now will be minor in comparison to what eventually might come out of this. This to me is very scary! It might be that I do not fully understand this online community, but the use of real dollars in a virtual world to buy virtual things seems rather frivolous and unuseful. I picture the game Sims where you are able to create the world you live in. The game is extremely intriguing and fun but it isn't reality, just as virtual clothes can not be worn or a virtual island with virtual water cannot be swam in.

Comments

Moondog:

I appreciated your connection from your online identity to your physical and social identity. This is a topic that Turkle discussed in his writings. Just how true of peoples online identity to discribing their trueselves? In your case, through time a pretty true description. Good job on your post.

Good post Moondog

I think you hit it on the head with your observation that people create their avatars as they perceive they are seen by others. It is tough because we never really see ourselves as others see us. I think any MUD or opportunity to create a "second life" allows people to fantasize and create their "perfect me".

Mike

I noticed what you said about how you present yourself online the way you want to be seen. It's interesting that in a way very unique to this point in history I would think we're able to create these idealized identities for ourselves while also being able to do a lot with them (meeting people and etc.). I think it will be interesting to find out if it becomes a bigger part of the psyche of people and changes their interactions with one another. I also agree with what you said about the frivolousness of paying for products for an avatar. I would definitely be weary of jumping into buyer land in Second Life.