Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Creepy Spiritual Valley

The oddest thing about Second Life is my reaction to avatars. I remember instant messaging with Amy and some friends. Amy's avatar is similar enough to what I remember Amy looking like and unconsiousely, I was splicing her real life image onto the screen where she was virtually standing. One of Amy's friends -- who during the course of our interactions morphed from a guy, to a box, a red dragon, a teddy bear, and back to a guy (and several costume changes) -- and I were chatting and I realized that I was building a mental picture of what he looked like based on his avatar. In other words, I expect that if we ever meet (we're living on different coasts), he'd look like his humanoid character (this is in spite of his non-human appearances).

In other words, I'm unconsciously reacting to humanoid avatars as if they were real, even though I know they're virtual. This must be the Second Life version of the self / body dichotomy. Only in this case I have subjective proof of the split. And it's just a little freaky.
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