Friday, June 02, 2006


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Laukosargas Svarog

What I find interesting is how few people realise American English and English English are not the same languages at all. Or even that English speaking people can exist in a culture that isn't American.

But a worse problem I find in SL is'nt just speech anomalies, it's a general American lack of understanding of other cultures and it's a lack of willingness to understand other cultures too. Time and time again I meet people in SL who spout their Americanism with such religious fervour it's frightening. It's completely scary that such a large and supposedly educated nation can be so unaware of how other cultures perceive them. And even more so when you realise they don't appear to want that awareness.

I guess when I visit the states in RL I'm generally with similar minded people and I've never really noticed how the general populace seem to view the rest of the world as some strange slightly scary extension to America. But in SL it's shoved in our face almost every day.

Of course by saying this I lay myself open to flame but it's the truth as I've seen and experienced in SL. And it's SL that brought it home to me.

I think the question should'nt be about us "foreigners" integrating into stateside culture but should Americans try and be more understanding of other cultures ?

andrew jones

"I think the question should'nt be about us 'foreigners"'integrating into stateside culture but should Americans try and be more understanding of other cultures ?"

This is fairly true, but it's really not just Americans. I mean I'm lived all over Asia and found that when people, especially english speaking folks for some reason, come to a country they expect people to respect their ways etc. It's tad annoying after awhile becuase it's not to hard to be two different people say someone who's going to respect some basics of Chinese culture, but perhaps not respect them back in your country.
On another note, most Americans are fairly respective of other cultures with in the U.S.

"general populace seem to view the rest of the world as some strange slightly scary extension to America. "

Yeah this is generally how the world is viewed. The rest of the world doesn't have what we have etc. the exceptions being those hyper-hip and "safe" japanese metropolises etc. Perhaps that's why Americans don't travel that much.


andrew jones

p.s. if linden is serious about making it over seas then they need the client translated and also (more importantly) decent servers in other countries. I'm managing over 600 ping from Taiwan.



Second Life is not American soil. It's not even international territory. It has hooks into American culture and politics and perspectives, but it's not America.

It makes me sad to think of non-Americans feeling like they have to try and "pass" as American. I guess it must be tiresome to have every conversation become about where you are from. Still one hopes for better in the metaverse.

epredator potato

Being a brit, and as its the world cup, English. I have found ti quite liberating to be able to show that I am not from the US. Many of the cars around adn about our fine shores are sporting the st george cross to support the England football team.
So I made some hand held flags to carry around just to indicate that not everyone is in the US in Second life. as can be seen here

Ordinal Malaprop

Well, I've never felt the need to "pass as American" in SL, but then again, I spend most of my time in Caledon, which has an... unusual cultural mileu in any case.

I lived and worked in the States for two years and I have to say that pressure to conform didn't really come from people's attitudes in conversation (whilst occasionally clueless e.g. "so what do people do for Thanksgiving in England?"). In general, people are quite willing to learn about different cultures and accept them. It was more the unspoken things, the constant assumptions in media and general society regarding shared roots which you don't have, flags, pop culture, vocabulary, weird quirks of US politics... the background details.

Those don't exist so much in SL. We share things that are independent of RL residence; lag, prim counts, casinos, bitching about griefers. I don't find it nearly as culturally oppressive. Mind you, I must say that I did learn to be pretty aggressive about defending my psychic space - I was still calling lifts "lifts" rather than "elevators" when I left, and in Caledon I still call the vehicle that runs along the paths a "tram" rather than a "trolley".

Daaneth Kivioq

To comment on what Andromeda said I would encourage her to speak "Aussie", if for no toherreason than i might give some one a chance to learn a bit about her culture. BTW, what is a "sook" anyway? :-)

Biscuit Carroll

A "sook", (rhymes with look)is a person who sulks, or is overly sensitive in nature. Usually applied as a pejorative to males though also used affectionately as in "don't be such a sook".

Aznavour Wolfe

The flip side of that, of course, is "do people feel the need to assert their cultural identity aggressively in order to dissociate themselves from the (American) norm?"

Case in point: Anshe and her qipao.


No one is forcing the Aussie not to speek slang they just don't understand, so they ask.

"Time and time again I meet people in SL who spout their Americanism with such religious fervour it's frightening."

So someone should like the country they are from?

"general populace seem to view the rest of the world as some strange slightly scary extension to America."

I really have no idea what you mean by that but, it sounds like you are the one with the issues, no the Americans.


Well, you might call me an "American". I was born and raised Cherokee. Well, technically I'm half Sioux but that gets a lot more complicated so lets just stick with Cherokee. At any rate, I don't really identify very well with America despite living in the confines of the country. I like to tell people who ask "Are you American?" "Yes, sort of, I'm a native, a so called 'indian', so if you want to stereotype me, you need a whole different set of stereotypes."

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