Friday, March 13, 2009

Choices and Identity

For online virtual worlds like Second Life, the ability to choose and decide what your avatar looks like is a fascinating aspect of the site. Thinking back on the weeks in class when identity was discussed, I started to reflect on how some people still choose to look the same and act the same in the virtual world while others choose the very opposite.

Why do people choose to live their very same life in an online virtual world? What differs from their life in the online world in comparison to their life in the real world? Why do people choose to be an animal or a cloud or some other object in choosing what their avatar will look like? Does that reflect their inner desires or wants? Or is it just a matter of expression?

From this class, I realized just how important identity is in the online world as it is in the real world. Identity makes up who we are and it is interesting that online virtual worlds give us that option to change our identity. In real life, we cannot change our skin color, we can not change how tall we are, we can not choose our biological makeup, etc. So for online virtual worlds to give us these options strikes me as I never really paid attention to it. It is also amazing to see how your online identity affects those around you and the way you are treated just as your own real world identity does.

So in the end, I am left to think to myself that with all these choices online, what would I change?