Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Just Don't Get it!

Image for Blog Post

The image above is a snippet from sketchnotes I took at the "You Can't Get There From Here" panel at the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds Conference. This comic-strip section of the larger image is my somewhat frustrated depiction of audience questions and comments from people who "just didn't get" why we'd want to support anonymous/pseudonymous access to the virtual world. The nerve!

I even added this judgmental tweet to a recent Twitter micro-rant:
The correct emotional response to "I just don't get it" is curiosity, not contempt.
As usual, I eventually ended up pointing my pointing finger back at myself. Instead of trying to think about the issue from the perspective of the questioners, I reflexive responded with a visual sneer. Oh well.

In keeping with the theme of this week's posts, an important part of the the way forward in virtual worlds is working to understand the perspectives of others. Especially when there's a strong negative emotional charge attached to an issue. Stories can look very different, depending upon who you choose as the protagonist.


Dirk said...

I think much of the backlash (or, simply, lash) is because of the heavy focus on "internet porn" and "pedophiles trying to solicit children with fake identities". These are real issues (although probably somewhat overstated); but, people don't have the background to think critically about how much that doesn't apply in this context.

We spent over 8 years being taught to fear everything and everyone. If you don't know who you are talking to, they must have something to hide... like being a terrorist or a pedophile. But, why adults think they will end up on a milk carton is beyond me.

Deanya Lattimore Schempp IFL / Deanya Zenfold ISL said...

Hey, you know, even the big story arc changes based on whose point of view you're seeing it through.

One person's crisis is another person's rising action...

;-) <3 U

Deanya Lattimore Schempp IFL / Deanya Zenfold ISL said...

Oh, and I forgot to say -- I'd be glad to friend you on any of my nine accounts that represent different facets of my personality!!! LOL.

I mean, screw 'em if they can't take a joke, right.

Joey1058 said...

People that don't get it are sometimes those that need a specific purpose to anything they do. Those are people that run according to a set schedule. Before phone apps and Palm pilots, they relied on paper planners and rolodexes.

Living virtually very often means "I might go to SL, or I might surf the web, or I might catch a program on YouTube". Living digitally did mean only VR to me as well.

It wasn't until this year that I acknowledged I'm a cyborg. Doing that has made me understand the concept not of VR/AR/PR, but Mixed Reality. I'm getting there in tiny increments.

Cynthia Nicole said...

What is your method of creating your sketchnotes? They are great! (from a friend of Claudia L)

Botgirl Questi said...

Dirk: I agree that the pervasive fear around many of these issues is harmful than what people are afraid of. EVERYONE suffers from the overall atmosphere of fear.

Deanya: That's your story. ;)

Joey: Most readers of this blog are proto-cyborgs. Although technology isn't yet permanently imbedded in the flesh, having a smart phone with you 100% of the time is pretty darn close.

Cynthia: They were created on an iPad using Sketchbook Pro.

zhochaka said...

It's been a basic identity issue on the Internet for as long as I've been around. And, you know, the real world is pretty relaxed: how many informal environments insist you provide formal ID? Bars can be socially informal, but they do get hit with things such as age checks.

What I came up with, in the days of the long-gone service, was that there was a difference between being anonymous and being untraceable. That service gave you an anonymous, consistent, email address. It could be traced, given a cause which satisfied the courts in Finland. (And it turned out that the courts were too easily persuaded...)
Anyway, even then there were virtual worlds (text only) with people using imaginary characters. Women used apparently-male identities for self-protection. And the first spammers were emerging.

And I'm the guy in the bear suit. So what? Do you look like your avatar?