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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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Two Worlds

Let me summarize my feelings on this in the most succinct way possible:

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Ricardito Castaignede

Not sure what all the fffs mean in the previous post (or if, therefore, they actually qualify as "succinct"). I do find both the article and CyFishy fascinating. I have been amazed at the myriad ways human beings choose to use Second Life and the ways in which RL and SL converge or diverge for different folks. I wish CyFishy and Beginning much happiness, however their human chooses to express herself ...or is it himself? :)

Princess Ivory

Just one more gender-bender misleading the people that they meet. How is that news? Seems to be the norm, in Second Life. It's sad, is what it is. And very unfair to the people who get taken in by it.

CyFishy Traveler

First off, I am flattered beyond measure that Hamlet found my strange little tale worth telling. Thank you for that, Hamlet.

But, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that people are already Not Getting It. It probably didn't help that Hamlet took a little artistic liberty with the nature of my SL gender, to allow for the surprise twist at the end. The fact of the matter is, I started SL in female form, shifted to male as an experiment (a little before the breakup with my RL/SL lover) and even now will still shift back into girlshape periodically. I have never lied about my RL gender to anyone--at most, I have dodged the question when dealing with someone I just met, or deliberately left it ambiguous for someone who didn't want to know.

I've also been increasingly open about the fact that Beginning and I are one and the same behind the keyboard. Initially, I kept it undercover simply because I wanted Beginning to be treated as a newbie, in order to get a feel for the newbie's-eye-view. But now that she's well enough established in the world, I don't feel a need to hide our connection. (And it will certainly be impossible to hide now that it's been covered here!)

Argent Bury

Cy and Beginning, congratulations! I've been fascinated by your story since I read about it on Cy's blog, and I'm honored to call you both friend. AVs are in so many ways a mirror on ourselves, and it sounds like your human is using their mirror in a good way.

Congratulations for making it to NWN. And bonus points for already attracting an ignorant hater in the form of Princess Ivory ;) A sure sign that you've arrived!

Best,
Argent

Hamlet Au

Whoa now, hang on, please keep it civil. It looks like the way I structured some things caused some confusion, my apologies.

Peter Stindberg

SL is a wonderful pace to learn about oneself, about what one really is and wants. SL made me ralxed about many things that bothered me before.

Ricardito Castaignede

I was thinking about Princess Ivory's post and Argent Bury's passionate response... SL is a reflection of RL - our desires, fears, values. The problem, it seems to me, is that SL exists in a world context in which the lines between fantasy and reality are becoming increasing blurred. Princess uses language like "misleading" and "taken in" but I wonder if she would have said that she is being misled when someone in SL claims to be a robot, a dragon, an elf or a neko. It's all pretend and I am under no illusions that any avatars I interact with in SL are in any way indicative of their RL identies. Nor would I want them to be - that's part of the fun that SL offers that RL does not - endless possibilities limited only by our imaginations. CyFishy is using her imagination in a way that works for her. Who are we to judge her? I am much more concerned with the images of horrendous abuse and rape of women that I have seen displayed around SL in dungeons and certain sims. CyFishy's creativity is benign, really. But I have to wonder, when I see troubling displays of hatred and violence in SL - as with the chicken and the egg, which comes first SL values/behaviors or RL? Which fuels which?

Princess Ivory

Whoa, wait a minute. Where did I ever use the word "hate?" I don't hate CyFishy. Not at all. She/he can do whatever they want in SL. I was simply expressing an opinion. Don't flame me for it Argent.

I am actually very open-minded. But I prefer that my friends be honest with me, so I would feel mislead if she were my friend. That based on my own personal experiences, and I was relating my opinion, based on my experiences.

This is an open discussion, not a hate war. I don't have to agree with what she is doing. She doesn't need my permission. I never said she shouldn't do it, either. Don't be so quick to put words in my mouth, please, Argent. You misunderstood.

And CyFishy, I meant no offense to you personally. I was simply addressing a "situation" and not the specific people behind the avatars.

So, can we all just get along, please?

Princess Ivory

CyFishy Traveler

Dismissing my exposed vulnerabilities as "Just one more gender-bender misleading the people that they meet." may not be hate, but it certainly isn't kind.

There is a human heart which beats for both of these avatars . . . not a "situation". Perhaps you should keep that in mind in future.

Ricardito Castaignede

Well said, CyFishy. Yes, Princess, we can all get along. But there is no "just" in getting along in the RL or in SL without each of us taking responsibility for our actions. It takes work. In public Comment areas like this one, it takes even more vigilance because we can only rely on our typed words to convey our messages and meanings and arent able to see each others eyes, facial expressions, body languages, and voice tones. Just as you had a passionate reaction to Argent's post, CyFishy, Argent and I all had equally visceral responses to yours. So, yes we can all get along, in both SL and RL, if we think carefully about the impact our words may have before we say them. All my best to you, Princess. I know you meant no intentional harm. No one posting here thus far has meant to, I dont think, but often it happens anyway. Its because what CyFishy, Argent, Princess, Hamlet and Ricardito all have in common is that they are driven by fallible human beings. No harm, no foul.

Princess Ivory

Sigh. I explained my point of view, and I apologized. I meant no harm, and I said so in my apology. I hoped that would be enough to end the conflict.

What I was trying to communicate, based on my own personal SL experiences, did not come through clearly, obviously. I am not going to try to explain it now, and risk more conflict. It is better to let it drop.

I do not want to hurt anyone. I hate it when someone hurts me. I try to consider the feelings of others when I write. Obviously in this case, my fingers typed faster than my brain could process, and my post was inappropriate and inconsiderate. I do apologize once again to all parties offended.

Can we please put this to rest? It does no good to pick at the wound.

Mea Culpa.

Princess Ivory

Hamlet Au

Group hug already!!1!1!one!

CyFishy Traveler

You are forgiven, Princess Ivory. I'm sorry if any of my responses made you feel attacked in any way.

Faerie

Your World.
Your Imagination.

and your story is amazing too!

Thanks for sharing, Cyfishy.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Someone has already asked whether non-human avatars constitute deceit... How many, I wonder, have avatars that accurately depict their RL appearance and physical condition? Should I presume that someone with an avatar named "Princess" could cite the appropriate page number in Debrett's Peerage upon request?

Isadora Fiddlesticks

I really envy those who are successful in role playing another gender in SL. I tried being a man in SL once, and I really stink at it, and the fear of being busted was a scary thing for me.

Meanwhile I have two friends in SL who are really good at this. It's really ok for me and it's really not my business, but I also worry when the time comes that they get to know someone and when they say the truth about their real selves they will be hurt when those people reject them.

Ultimately, it's a test of courage, a great mental/psychological challenge for the one concerned, and also a test of tolerance for everyone else.

Connie Sec

For me, this is an example of just one of the opportunities for "self discovery" that SL enables us to achieve.

Kate Amdahl

CyFishy, that's very strange and pretty fascinating. At first I thought you were just kidding, and then I think I began to Get It: after all, if I don't love myself, any relationship I have with anyone else is doomed. Of course, usually people don't take "love myself" so literally, but why not? And now you're a new kind of being in Second Life, a person who is a couple.

Princess Ivory, you talk about being deceived, but you've made clear that you know that many people in Second Life have different First Life genders than their avatars--so that means that when you meet someone, you already know they might be gender bending, so unless they are telling you they're a First Life gender than they're not, we're really not talking about deception. I take it you're just uncomfortable associating with people whose Second Life gender doesn't match their First Life one, right? If that's it, then it does seem unfortunately that you specify somehow that you don't want to meet people like that. I'm not crazy about the idea of shooing people off because of their gender choices, but I think you ought to have the right to decide who you spend time with (without putting a sign over your head). I'm not sure there's a good solution to that, though.

Still, it doesn't make sense to call someone a liar just because they don't observe the same gender boundaries you do. If you want to see people's First Life genders, go see them in First Life!

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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