[SLED] SL article in Nature

Robbins, Sarah Brooke sbrobbins at bsu.edu
Thu Sep 14 05:12:27 PDT 2006

Jonathon: The article has me thinking too. I've always thought that social conventions in virtual environments are far more based on the mechanics of the environment rather than social norms carried into the evironment. For example, SL has norms about IMing that wouldn't be there if IM wasn't possible. WOW has conventions about kill stealing that wouldn't be part of the culture if kill stealing wasn't possible. So what mechanics of SL encourage personal space?

Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins
PhD Student in Rhetoric and Composition
Ball State University, Muncie IN
Yahoo: Intellagirl
SecondLife: Intellagirl Tully

-----Original Message-----
From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of Jonathon Richter
Sent: Thu 9/14/2006 12:27 AM
To: SL Educators
Subject: Re: [SLED] SL article in Nature
I was discussing the premise of this article to my wife this evening as we
drove home from dining out - and she had a very interesting idea. I was
extrapolating a bit on this notion that people in SL and other MUVEs
projected their own sense of personal space as they had for their own bodies
in RL... using examples (perhaps wrongly) that people from the Middle East
and even the East Coast of the U.S.A. have less of a sense of boundary -
that is, when someone gets close up, it's felt more agressively in the
Western part of the U.S. than in other places of the world (research on
this? or just my sense?) - I hope I'm not displaying ignorance or invoking
stereotypes that will inflame someone's ire over this sociological
assumption.... sorry if it's insensitive and/or politically incorrect. oh
well. The idea that I'm trying to propel fwd here is that different cultures
promote different degrees of closeness for the sense of personal space in
different settings/contexts (and that in the multiverse, the clash of these
differences in levels of cultural senses of space will be intereresting to
watch DANCE).

She thought that it would be interesting to create a visible or at least
detectable "aura" around an avatar that would let others know where the
boundaries are - so that when someone DID cross the line, they would know it
(and the person controlling that avatar would then know that the crossing of
the "personal space" boundary was, indeed, intentional). Of course, all of
the bumping into one another due to the clumsy interface, time lapse due to
rendering, etc. would "set the alarms off" too - but I thought it was
interesting idea that my RL bride had.

Just a thought - as she is apt to say!

~ Jonathon

On 9/13/06, R P <itphd19 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> In case you missed it:
> Title: Concept of 'personal space' survives in virtual
> reality
> Sub: Psychologists find real-world social rules
> mirrored in 'Second Life' interactions.
> By Jim Giles
> (Published 11-SEPT-06)
> http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060911/full/060911-3.html
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
> _______________________________________________
> Educators mailing list
> To unsubscribe
> https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators

Jonathon Richter
Research Associate
Center for Advanced Technology in Education
1244 Walnut Drive, Suite 205A
Eugene, OR 97403 - 2056

"The architecture of our future is not only unfinished; the scaffolding has
hardly gone up. "  ~ George Lamming

More information about the Educators mailing list