[SLED] SL reputation

Will Tuladhar-Douglas w.t.douglas at abdn.ac.uk
Sat May 23 04:26:53 PDT 2009


On 22 May 2009, at 20:30, Sarah Robbins wrote:

> Gender bending isn't necessarily sexual. Gendered, yes. Sexual, not  
> necessarily.


Well put. The way SL is constructed, it's possible to play with gender  
without worrying about the consequences for sex.

That's not to say that ‘sex’ or ‘hunger’ are not socially  
conditioned, but they do arise in relation to material processes which  
are intentionally lacking in SL.

In fact, the strange thing to me about SL is how quickly people treat  
SL as being a good model of RL, even though the biological is so  
conspicuously absent. I understand immersion as a process, but still:  
No hunger, no disease, no death; no evolution, no symbiosis, no  
predators, no food web. Nobody gets HIV, so there is no safer sex;  
there are no antibiotics, nor megapharm companies pushing them - so  
there is no need to eat probiotic yoghurt or worry about MRSA; there  
are no poor, no sweatshops making all the pretty clothes.


and on the same day, at 20:28, James M Pangborn wrote:
> The pervasiveness of sleazy commercialism in SL bothers me a bit,  
> but I'm not sure what it would have to do with one's assessment of  
> its educational potential.  Tell me what you think on that count,  
> would you?

I expect the aggressive capitalism of SL would lose its edge somewhat  
if folks could see family members starve to death.

The peculiar reputation of SL does seem closely linked to its  
marketing as a ‘game with no rules’, where anything can be tried.   
In fact it does have rules - lots of them - but they are unstated,  
implicit in the architecture - and one of them is that the only goals  
one can pursue are those which make sense in a world where there is no  
‘nature’.

Now, back to trying to make meaningful tools in this strange world...

-WBTD.



>

- - -- --- ----- -------- -------------
Will Tuladhar-Douglas AKA Middling Bosatsu
‘There is nothing that has arisen independently’ MMK 17.25ab
w.tuladhardouglas at gmail.com (reliable) w.t.douglas at abdn.ac.uk (official)

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