Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why "Avatar a.k.a Human" is More Boring Than The Reverse

There are two main dimensions of virtual pseudonymity. The first is keeping one's human identity secret from the virtual community. Most of the benefits of virtual identity stem from this aspect of pseudonymity, because you can recreate yourself at will, free of any preconceptions based upon age, social status, gender, etc. To each their own, but I think that those who totally conflate their avatar and human identities are missing a great opportunity to push the boundaries of their self-conception.

The second aspect of virtual pseudonymity is keeping virtual identity from one's human circle of colleagues, friends and family. Although this sometimes is a response to a genuine threat to a career or a relationship, I think it mostly stems from either embarrassment about being one of those Second Life freaks, or simply not wanting to explain the unexplainable to the uninitiated. I get that. I really do. But I think that to fully reap the positive benefits of one's avatarian dimension, you have to claim it within your mundane human world as well.

Every avatar has a human counterpart. That's boring. But most humans do not have an active virtual identity. That's something worth sharing.


Imnotgoing Sideways said...

When I see mentions like this, I'm very thankful to be one of the lucky ones. (^_^)

For myself and everyone who knows me, "Immy" is quite normal. Or, at least consistent with my personality. =^-^=

... I'm pretty darned crazy out here in teh real as well. XD

I really wonder if the stigmas of a virtual life actually exists due to the secrecy of those who have them. Anyone who knows me also knows the level of controversy I get involved in... None of that is masked or hidden from my family, co-workers, or employees. (^_^)

In fact, many of them like to hear my stories of the madness that goes on inworld an on the forums. They know names. They've seen the avatars. Since I've been so bold about it, "Immy" has become a normalized part of my personality. (^_^)

I guess... All I gotta say is, try it. But, don't go beyond your personal limits. Maybe the avatar-owner is the "fag" of the new millennium. That only means there's a closet to come out of. They know what we're doing. Some are curious, some are enraged, some couldn't care less. (^_^)

Que sera sera. (^_^)y

Gracie Kendal said...

I agree with Immy... maybe it's just me, but when I talk about my projects and my avatar, sometimes I get the obvious look of "that just went way over my head" but when I go on to explain Second Life more and avatars etc. I seem to get more support and understanding. I know there are tons of stereotypes out there about gamers and men living in their parents basement etc, but I think maybe we are helping to break that. I think that is what my current project is about too. (Botgirl you NEED to pose :D) Although Gracie and I don't look exactly alike (that is going to change again soon) She is definitely me and I am definitely her. I act the same way in RL (for the most part) as in SL.

Mera Kranfel said...

Well as I dont have any urge to do any outrageous things in my virtual life Im ok if my irl friends and some at work know what im doing and even know my avies.

Im not that interesting, although i have both a female and a male avie. It dont get so much more exciting than that :P

So for me its no probl to share my virtual identity with ppl I trust. Them who have met me seems to think Im the same person as my avies (the female one! But the male has also my personality =)

But i dont share it with the whole world. Too many XXXX out there...