Real, Virtual...I choose real people
I have not particularly been a big user in the virtual world, or even what I might call an alternate reality for creating a life inside the world wide web to express, explore or even be someone you might not be able to be in real life. I have known about IRC's on the net for awhile, but never became involved with them. I have never created a character online as in RPG's (role playing games) like "World of Warcraft" ect. Most of interactivty online has been held to only long weekends running some LAN parties with some of my serious gamer friends. The readings definitly shed some light onto how involved people can get with regards to life online. i had actually never heard of the term MUD (multi user dimensions) or MUDding as they refer to it. Probably the closest I become to having some kind of virtual identity would be related to me playing Halo 2 (XBOX) online, but I did not create a new identity for myself. i just played the game way to much and I almost dropped out of college to become a professional and go on tour with my team, sufficed to say I stayed in college and I am glad I did. So I might not have created a new identity online, but i understand the effects can have and how much of your real, physical life can be consumed with you honestly not being aware of how much time has really been devoted to your virtual reality or gaming life in my situation. When dealing with a person's identity, I belivea person can change their stars (quote from "A Knights Tale") and that change to be real should not be done with a mouse, keyboard and screen just sitting lifeless in front of you. I am not trying to imply that living an online life is completely negative or cannot be used for some positive reinforcement as with the young man named Robert in the reading. " He was able to use MUDding as an environment in which he could talk about his feelings in a constructive way", otherwise he had problems doing this in the real world.
Secondlife is an amazing concept and I do believe could be the furture for commerce, communnications industries and the list could go on and on. It would be hard for me to really and truely get involved in this world because I need to be around people and have true human interaction. I believe Secondlife has such great potential to be an amzing tool for learning trades or other endless avenues that one might never have had access to. But the concept, or some cases of this truely being your reality is somewhat disconcerting for myself. Seeing the kind of attention and hype that Linden has brought (even trading land and making Linden money) is incredible, but still it is just a person interacting with a machine and not truely living life.