I really appreciate the fact that VWs give so many a chance to discuss, in a fumbling sort of a way, the concept of identity.
Identity was the first thing that drew me, seems like many years ago, to Botgirls blog and then to Lalo. Whiskey has also very good points to make in any discussion apart from her amazing sense of humour. Lalo’s blog has attracted a multitude of different comments, mostly with very different opinions.
For those of you who haven’t followed, the question is whether the disclosure of RL identity alters your perception of an avatar positively, or negatively, or whatever…
I like the fact that there is such a diversity of opinion and that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or even, ‘fashionable’ guideline … everyone has their own take on the situation.
Personally, and excuse me if I have blogged this before, I do not really care much about who did what, more about what they did… let me explain. If I read a book, for example, I am totally uninterested in the author. I do not read the dust jacket. I actually have a real talent for forgetting actors names… Jack Sparrow is Jack Sparrow and a great guy… the actor’s name escapes me for the most part and who they marry and where they live is of zero interest to me. That is obviously an uncommon standpoint compared to the mass celeb culture of today, but it is true.
I am, however, totally focused on the art, the product, the manifestation of what someone does. A good book I will not forget, a great piece of art I never forget, but whether the writer or artist was a mass murderer, racist, paedophile or not is of no major interest to me whatsoever. I judge by result…. and look no further, mostly. To put this in a real context… there was much discussion at one time about Michael Jackson, [a Virtual Identity in that I had never met the person only the virtual reports of his existence]… to me he made some great music, did some great videos and could dance. I don’t need to form a judgement about his moral fibre, I just want to dance to his music. If I only listened to the music of saints I would be disappointed.
So, for me there is an almost total separation between the virtual and the real, and I like it that way.
Now, it is true that I may be curious about the RL identity of a very good friend, but so far this hasn’t happened. The one person I met in RL, Pixi Cosmos, will always be Pixi Cosmos, just as she always calls me soror. That reality is stronger for me than a family-endowed name.
This has recently become quite real for me in that I have to submit my RL work for consideration in RL shows. I use my name, soror Nishi, that is the name of the artist who designed the work… might sound weird, but that is how I see it. For soror Nishi, the organic/atomic world is only a virtual reality, her real reality is Inworldz and SL…
… but I’m happy to accept anyone’s opinion on the subject, just…. don’t send me your photo.
I forget where people live even…. and will almost certainly forget a ‘real’ name within two hours.