Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You know what I'm sick of?

I'm sick to hell of the internet being portrayed as a place where 'bad' or 'dirty' people hang out. I'm sick of the media talking about Second Life as a place where stalkers, murderers, pedophiles, and 'losers' are. I'm sick of reading news articles saying "Girl murdered for answering Craigslist ad". Sick of it.

CSI:NY last week did an episode that featured Second Life. According to the plot, the murderer was a resident of Second Life, so the detectives had to log in and create their own avatar in order to track down the killer. This led to numerous instances of sarcastic remarks or snide little comments about people being involved in online communities, or falling in love online. Although I'm really glad to see Second Life making its way into mainstream media, but making comments like this really don't help the typical person understand that we really aren't all murderers and bad people. Numerous people at work the next day.. knowing how involved I am in Second Life took time to ask me if I'd seen it and it was always followed by, "that's CREEPY." Great. Just what we need.

The very next evening the episode of "The Office" also mentioned Second Life and in the explanation there was a line that went something like "It's not a game, there are no winners or losers" which was, of course, following by the next line of dialogue saying "Oh there are losers, all right.". Once again, fantastic stereotyping.

Now today, someone else shows me this. The discovery of a 'pedophile playground' within Second Life. For those of you not familiar with Second Life, it's a virtual world where you can choose to be whatever the hell you want. Man, woman, animal, alien, fairy, robot, etc. Now.. keep in mind please, that everyone signing up for a Second Life account in the main area has to be over 18. So, in knowing that.. if you 'choose' then to have a 'smaller' avatar that might look like someone younger than 18 and you engage in virtual sex with an adult .. is that a crime? You're both 18. You're both consenting. You're both involved in roleplaying. Is it a crime? I dunno. Not in my mind, but I'm not sure the law is always on my side.

What's the line with roleplaying and age play? How many times during 'normal/offline' sex have you called someone 'baby' or "my sweet girl'? How many times have people engaged in behaviors like spanking with the partner in costume to resemble a 'schoolgirl' or something similar? I'm wondering how exactly that's different than what we're talking about in Second Life. In my mind? It's not different at all.


1 comment:

dandellion Kimban said...

It happens all the time... it will happen in the future... somebody whose reasoning is based on what is seen on TV is having something to say about SL. Do I have to emphasise the "seen on TV" part? Does it tell something about that person? Thank you. Next!