MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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To Be Me, Or Not To Be Me…That is the Question

After reading Julie Rak’s paper “the electric self: doing virtual research for real in second life®”, I have to say that I’m quite excited to venture into second life. There was one point in my life where I was completely obsessed with “the Sims”, so I can see myself enjoying setting up my own avatar in second life and exploring the virtual world that it offers.

I found it interesting that Rak’s grad students who lived in second life for a week said that it was easy to stress about appearance. No one wanted to be seen as a “newbie”, so they asked others around them for advice and tried to look as good as possible very quickly. Scarily close to real life…

I think it’s interesting to see which avatars in the virtual world choose to look as close to their real life selves as possible, and which ones choose to be something completely wacky and funky. At first I thought I would probably make an avatar to resemble me as closely as possible, but then I got to thinking that in the virtual world you can literally be ANYTHING you want to be and choose to look however you want to look! So why not get funky with it? I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a “furry” or anything…but maybe some pink hair would be fun!

Do you think there is a correct way to convey yourself in the virtual world? I get the feeling that sometimes the wackiest characters online are quite possibly very shy and quiet in real life. The virtual world is a great place for people to express themselves however they want to.

Bye for now!



May 26, 2009 - Posted by | Comment on Course Material |

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