Same Story, Different (Virtual) Reality

Last net.kooks entry for now, I promise. From The Independent, here’s a story that I’ve read at least ten times since I first began using bulletin boards back in the day: Blood on the virtual carpet: tempers flare as ‘editor’ is thrown out of online town with 80,000 inhabitants.

Okay; maybe I haven’t read that exact story ten times, but pretty close: Human participants find way to inject their individual personality into a collaborative online experience in ways that the architects of the system didn’t anticipate. Hilarity ensues.

Still, it’s interesting, at least if you’re wired the way I am.

One Response to “Same Story, Different (Virtual) Reality”

  1. Phil Says:

    I had read another article about this guy where he was presented as a moral crusader, trying to get these “warped teenagers” to clean up their act. Here is seems as if his virtual newspaper is just part of his academic research.

    In any case, it seems to me that the whole argument is pretty much the same thing that’s been made about video games and violent movies, not just “collaborative online experiences,” (which, by the way, makes for a great piece of jargon). Do the bad things we see (or do) on the screen make us want to do bad things in real life? The new element here being the participatory aspect of shaping the Sims’ world. I have a feeling like this debate will never get anywhere.

    Anyway, if you’re interested in this sort of story, I wrote something on “misuse” of Friendster personas a while back. You can see it here:

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