Dec 21, 2008

Second Life? Get a Life? But Which One?

My latest rant is available in the Second Life Herald entitled Get A Life! Any Idea Which One? It came about while I was reading the comments to postings that referred to Second Life and began to get irritated at the "Get A Life" responses being used as a way of ending discussion. It seems that the answer to anything in a virtual world is to "Get A Life," and that any problems someone may be having in-world is not worth thinking or caring about.


A problem is a problem is a problem. If your virtual life partner is cheating with another virtual entity, it can still cause real emotional reactions. Just because the surface structure of the interaction is based on pretty pictures on a screen, the deep structure is still good old-fashioned human emotions, naked and raw.

It's just to glib to dismiss virtual existence as "just a game" because even games evoke affect. The on-screen Barbie and Ken may seem like toys but there are human beings pulling the strings on these pixelated puppets.

The exhortation to "Get A Life" is no different from what many people will do in real life. Cynical as it may seem, in general, most people really don't care about other people's problems. Me included. Apart from my family and small group of friends, frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn.

Don't believe me? Hah. Folks will spend money on premium dog food to keep little Bowser happy but won't spend 1/10th of that to sponsor a child in a third-world country. Is it because they don't care? Well yes! It sounds shocking but I'm afraid human beings are not altruistic.

Bah, humbug.

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