As it turns out, it’s hard to authentically experience a life without some history of that life in an environment where identity is relatively stable.
Even actors have scripts that contextualize the characters they play.
Ancestry, family, circumstances of birth, inherited talents, and genetic predispositions — all of these are given to us long before we can refuse them.
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in which labor is understood in terms of creativity, so that production is understood as creation.” Production and consumption will no longer beget alienation, but rather, the creation of new worlds and better selves.
The exemplar of this new age is, not coincidentally, Neal Stephenson’s “hacker” — the software developer and computer engineer whose individuality is realized through technology and who has an almost limitless faith in his capacity to improve himself through it.
So even though Guest argues that users turn to Second Life because of real-world inadequacies, in truth, dissatisfaction with “first life” is not the primary incentive driving interest in virtual worlds, and popular and socially successful players of Second Life are generally also popular and socially successful in real life.
Certainly when I signed up for Second Life last summer, it was not to escape real-life burdens or make profound spiritual connections that I lacked in actual life, but out of a curiosity born of a decade of gaming and socializing online. suggests that what it has to offer is a third way between the twin perils of modernity: the untrammeled capitalism that alienates man from his labor, and the collectivist solutions to this alienation that crush individual freedom.
EPN’s study found that IT and communications professionals make up more than 30 percent of Second Life’s heaviest users (those who log in for more than 30 hours a week), and 30 percent of all of these users agree with the statement “Second Life offers me a better life than real life does.” “At the core of creationist capitalism is the idea of the self as a creator,” Boellstorff writes.
“Creativity [is] linked to self-expression and thus to freedom.” Second Life puts a premium on creativity by compelling its residents to construct every aspect of their world.Here, the elementary school maxim “you can be anything you want to be” is quite true, down to the literal ability to be a thing rather than a person.Second Life abounds with robots, vampires, and in particular, “furries” — a subculture whose members personally (and often sexually) identify with animals.Countless articles have recounted the improbable wealth, debauchery, crime, community-formation, and sheer weirdness to be found in Second Life, and two recent books — London journalist Tim Guest’s sets out to demonstrate how the real world batters and abuses the average person until he is driven to seek solace in the warm glow of his computer screen, where he can reinvent his identity and virtually conquer his real-life demons.Each chapter is awkwardly framed by Guest’s mopey ruminations about his own real-life problems — debt, loneliness, the high price of London real estate — and goes on to describe some virtual-world solution — virtual employment (and criminality), virtual love affairs, virtual real estate.portrays is that it is only ambiguously dystopian: it is dark and violent, but in many ways very conducive to individual creativity, and in any case, even its most astute inhabitants don’t long for a gentler or more meaningful life.