Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Google is Winning the Real Name Argument (and what to do about it)


Google is winning the real name argument. Not because they've accelerated the suspension of pseudonymous accounts, because many of us have returned. Not because public sentiment is turning against pseudonymity, because almost every post in the media has supported our cause. Not because they've come up with new compelling arguments to make their case, because their logic still breaks down under even the slightest scrutiny.

Google is winning the real name argument because they have managed to constrain the conversation to the domain of augmentation rather than immersion. Augmentation sees the social network and virtual identity as merely tools that we use. Immersion sees them as environments in which we live and as extensions of our own mind and body. Tools are items that we buy and our relationship to them is as consumers. Environments are spaces in which we live and our relationship to them is as citizens.

For the past three and a half years I've been avidly exploring virtual identity as a vehicle of creative expression and personal transformation. So over the next few days, I'm going to post past articles, videos and graphics that focus on those aspects of virtual life. My hope is that we can begin to expand the conversation about pseudonymity to the higher levels of Maslow's triangle, now that our attention can move beyond mere survival.

To start, here's a video I put together to wish the virtual community a happy New Year. I think it gives a taste of the potential for virtual identity to extend throughout the multiverse.

5 comments:

hottimeinthecity2001 said...

To truly express inner self, immersion is necessary. Thinking that someone working in the corporate culture at Google would understand anything about that is a fantasy.

Khannea Suntzu said...

Thanks!

Dale Innis said...

Is that a reference to "The Ring" at th' end of the video? ^_^

Joey1058 said...

It seems that immersion is an incomprehensible concept to Google. Their own world, Lively, just wasn't something seen as a tool. So they killed it before it had a chance to survive a full year.

It all makes sense to me now. their business model is indeed to create the broadest set of tools to use the web with. Nothing more.

Haydn Sweterlitsch said...

"Augmentation sees the social network and virtual identity as merely tools that we use. Immersion sees them as environments in which we live and as extensions of our own mind and body."

when the dust settles, they will be on the wrong side of evolution.