[iDC] RE: An Inconvenient Youth and Second Life

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 17:52:11 EST 2007

That's exact my point when I refered to my short experience in SL. I
think the US (where almost 100 procent of computer games and online
worlds are created) has a problem with the reproduction of the nuclear
family and the wishing of a kind of Barbie/Ken archetype where the
same house, the same furniture and the same tables and chairs are
copied or cloned.
In SL you can find hundreds of reproductions of Le Corbusier or of
Frank Lloyd Right, it's as the Sims (the popular computer game who is
the most clear "parent" of Second Life, has discovered architecture
and city planning.
When you have characters who fly what's the point making stairs or
walls? Or to design roads or motorways?
For me SL is a kind of perverse reproduction of life but without
death, sweat, smells or poverty.
In Everquest, the online game I usually played for several years, I
was playing a female avatar and  another player, a man playing another
female avatar, asked me to marry "him".
The marriage thing was a cool thing in EQ, where the weddings in the
game were attended by guests from the whole virtual world. I have
attended marriages between vampyres and elfs, centaurs and frogs.
We asked the "game masters" to come and marry us, it was Sony's
employees who acted as priests or civil servants and who performed the
We got a letter, very polite, but they refused us the right to be
married, "two women avatars can't be married. It could upset a lot of
other players who could experience that as offensive".
We, Charles, my friend, and me, could not believe what we read. We
played as wizards and shamans, we fought demons and zombies, we lived
in a fantasy world where magic and phantasy played an enormous roll.
Did they mean that two female avatars were "not natural", but all the
other stuff was it???
We argued with them for months and we dropped the idea, but it
strenghtened my these about online worlds as very conservative and

ps. the description of the marriage it's a bit of my research about
Gender in the Online Games, I am writing a book which it's going to be
released in this Spring, sadly, only in Swedish and Spanish for the

On 2/27/07, Brooke Knight <brooke_knight at emerson.edu> wrote:
> Hi all:
> I'm an inveterate lurker on the list, but I have to pick up on Steven's
> comment a few days ago about how he gave a lecture about SL, both in the
> "real" world and the "virtual" world of Second Life.  We here at Emerson
> College are currently engaged in the same thing -- as it is opening up as an
> educational space.  We have students cranking away at building what are
> essentially avatars of our buildings.  In fact, we have an event tomorrow,
> where both Trebor and Ulises will be speaking at Emerson and on Second Life,
> on the Emerson College Island, Emerson Island (145, 109, 23).  Come by at 7
> eastern and see if it works.
> In this case, it will be inside the Bordy Theater on the island.  In the
> "real" world (I've never been comfortable with the distinction), the Bordy
> Theater is inside of a building alongside other buildings of the same height
> and size.  On Emerson Island, It stands out as one of the only objects
> there.
> So, I ask -- why is it that there seems to be a need to reproduce items that
> already exist? Is a replica of a real-world place the best way to convey a
> message, even if it doesn't work in SL?  How is that message different in
> SL?
> I'm just worried that we continue to experience the tyranny of the metaphor,
> as we have so many times in digital media.
> Best,
> Brooke
> Brooke A. Knight
> Assistant Professor of New Media
> Department of Visual and Media Arts
> Emerson College
> 617-824-8760
> brooke_knight at emerson.edu
> www.brookeknight.com
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