Friday, October 12, 2007

Internet Wives and Second Life

This is a bit of a disjointed entry that is an effort to preserve information for a paper.

Rather than writing about the Craigslist Goldigger I'm going to attempt to sum up a conversation that I had with Ryan yesterday regarding internet relationships, such as the one exemplified by this man.

The article that I linked to above is the one that started the conversation - it's about a man who spends all his waking hours (between 6am and 2am) living his "Second Life" with his second wife, that is, his internet wife as opposed to his real, legally bound one.

I made a statement that suggesting that his relationship wasn't real because it wasn't based on reality.

But, in fact, a great many "real" relationships aren't actually based on reality. Also, we go through the same emotions and behaviour with online relationships as we would in the non online world - we aren't equipped otherwise. The man in the story claims that he could express things to his internet wife much more easily than to his real wife - he could tell her "anything." So despite the fact that there is no actual bearing on his life, that there is no "risk" involved in expressing himself, people still get emotionally attached to avatars representing people that don't exist.

The emotions are real, the people aren't.

It's the same situation as seeing someone on the bus everyday and conversing with them. You could be anyone, tell them anything and it wouldn't matter.

Then there's this story, which is fodder for a movie.

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