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Chronicles of an Active Worlds Citizen : We're human after all. (by Ewasx)

 A new reporter's opinion on Communication in and around Active worlds "Don't you have a pic in here?" "Is your scanner broken?" "Why don't you want
to go to Baud with me?" "Just what IS it with you anyway?" These are a few of
the questions this reporter has been subjected to during her relatively short
tenure here in this most facinating of places on the net, Active Worlds. 
At first she thought it was just the usual peer pressure one endures when one
expresses a desire to follow the unbeaten path. Goodness knows she's been
guilty of it before herself. However, as the pressure seemed to increase with
every inquiry, she was forced to contemplate just why it seems so important to
have your Real World image posted in AW. Upon reflection, this reporter
decided that it wasn't really anything deep and profound. It was the old idea
that there IS a flesh and blood person in the Real World tapping out the words
you see on the chat and telegram screen and that people want to know that
person as well as they can be known in the Real World, namely, their
individual looks. The problem, in this humble (Ahem) reporter's opinion, lies
squarely in the fact there are no custom avatars available to the general
membership yet. Notice the last word in that sentence: Yet. The day will come
(and none too soon) when one of the last pieces to the puzzle (custom avatars)
will fall into place and finally bring Active Worlds in line with it's
literary model. For all you non-Science Fiction fans, that model is the Neal
Stephenson novel entitled "Snow Crash" (with maybe just a little of
"Neuromancer" by William Gibson thrown in). This reporter has devoured those
two books long ago and is well aquainted and already comfortable with the
concept of living a separate life in VR. She likes the fact that an alter-ego
can be convincingly brought to life in AW. Therefore, the desire to avoid any
Real World contact with friends in AW is strong because the mystique of
leading this wierd but wonderful cyberlife seems perfectly natural (if
"natural" can ever be associated with the AW experience). This reporter feels
that to seek out AW friends via non-AW means of contact chips away at this
mystique and gradually homogenizes the AW experience to the point where the
Real world & VR lives merge as one. When that point is reached, you then have
no way to separate your alter-ego's existence from the Real world one.
Contacting both can be achieved in the same manner. This would be undesirable
to this reporter and, she suspects, to many others in AW. She makes this
statement even as she finalizes plans to post her own picture on a friend's
website for eventual display in AW. Peer pressure? Nope. Blackmail? Not yet at
least. No dear readers, the real reason this reporter has compromised her
principles? Easy: Simple vanity. The Real World still sometimes has a powerful
hold on us no matter how strong our convictions to the contrary..
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Material Copyright © 1998 Simon Says