“Is This Man Cheating on His Wife”
I thought the article; “Is This Man Cheating on His Wife” was extremely interesting and a little creepy. The article basically is about a man who is married in real life, just seven months ago, and who is also married to a woman on Secondlife. The man, Ric Hoogestraat, claims that his Secondlife wife doesn’t affect his real life and shouldn’t threaten his relationship with his real life wife. I think this is absurd because although Secondlife is a virtual world, a person still acts themselves and perhaps maybe more so than they would in real life because of a certain amount of anonymity. Secondlife provides a false consciousness and therefore can be considered more real life than real life depending on the amount of resources a person puts in.
Because the interaction on Secondlife isn’t face-to-face people are more comfortable opening up who they are to other members of the network community. The comfort comes from the amount of anonymity that the site offers. When a person joins, they create a new identity for themselves choosing a virtual name, style and body image. This information doesn’t have to coincide with who they are in real life.
This is just what Ric Hoogestraat did when he created his identity known as the avatar Dutch Hoorenbeek. As Dutch, Ric was able to make himself appear more attractive and young. With his hot new identity, Dutch became a profitable entrepreneur on Secondlife with a net worth of about 1.5million. He owns a mall, private beach club, dance club and strip club. 25 other players are employed by him and paid with the sites currency.
““Here, you’re in total control”, he said”.
Not only did Dutch find success, he found an attractive Secondlife wife named Tenja Jackalope. Why did they marry? Well they connected. Dutch said he could tell her his deepest secrets—or wait, should I say Ric— information that even his real life wife didn’t know. Ric spends many hours a day on Secondlife as Dutch with his Secondlife wife Tenja instead of his own wife. And he claims this isn’t cheating? It may not be physical cheating but emotionally, yes. Instead of confining in his real wife and opening himself up to her, Ric is tuning to Tenja. And I’m sorry, if you are allowed to do almost anything on Secondlife (from making real money to committing a murder) I am sure they have had virtual sex or at least mentioned trying it, seeing as the guy owns a strip club and sells lingerie and bikinis. What is the point of a real wife if you only want to give yourself fully to your Secondlife wife?
Ric is obsessed and addicted to his successful life on Secondlife that he chooses to spend more time looking at a virtual world than living in the real world. Since one can have anything they ever dreamed in Secondlife, why wouldn’t this virtual life be considered more real. It’s real enough to cause problems with real world relationships. It’s real enough to make a person money. And it’s real enough so that a person can escape real world problems.