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Thursday, June 18, 2015


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Tom Boellstorff

lol I wasn't expecting you to *post* on my little comment - thank you! For me, the point is that when we are defining things (which is a valuable thing to do), to be able to make distinctions is important. So if you say Second Life is a game, my next question is "please give me your definition of 'game'."

Not everything online is a game, unless we are thinking more in terms of adjectives than nouns. Is email a game? No, but it could have aspects of play in the way people use it. Since virtual worlds are places, calling Second Life a game to me is like saying Chicago is a "game." Lots of gaming and games take place in Chicago, but it's hard to call Chicago a game save in a very metaphorical and indistinct sense...

I could go on lol, but I'm flattered at your comments! Awesome as always.

Better then Ezra

Second Life in its purest form is a game of avatar based strategy.

A board game of social strategy using virtual dollies.


when people are permanently OOC in a game then is pretty understandable why they feel they are not in a game


seems I am writing a paper on this in comments (:

what also makes a online multiplayer game a game?

the anonymity of the players. Anonymity is a integral component of self-created illusion. In a fantastical game, illusion is everything. If SecondLife is nothing else then it is defo fantastical and illusionary in its construction

in SecondLife the rule is that players are RL anonymous by default. Be a nym

a person may choose to RL out themself (not be anonymous. Not be a nym). The rules of SecondLife however are that not only can the players not out others but neither can the provider LL


people who choose to out themself dont see SL as a game. They typically see it as a workplace. And/or a venue to showcase their talents which they publicly connect to their RL selves. FB links, etc. And/or as a forum to gain RL hookups (both personal and professional)

a observable instance of this are RL musicians who play concerts in SecondLife. They will often say: I am performing in SecondLife at This Venue. A place in a place. A bar in Chicago. A concert hall in New York, etc. Lots of artists, educators, scene setters, and other RL professionals, journalists even, out themselves and speak in this way also. Not all, just lots

for these people its a issue of public credibilty, acceptance, appraisal and advancement of their work/activity/expression

that people do this is fine and good on them


sometimes people will say to this: nah! Is not a game just bc anonymous. I am nym bc I wants my privacy. Privacy for what exactly?
- privacy to express myself in ways that I prefer others in my RL to know not about
- privacy for the quiet. Can put aside my RL pressures for a time and just relax
- privacy bc stalkers in my RL
- privacy bc is actual nobodys business at all anywhere, on and offline
- privacy for etc...

these are all RL reasons, and have nothing to do with SecondLife specifically. The need/want for privacy for these reasons is applicable anywhere

the desire/need for RL privacy doesnt change the SL game mechanic of self-created illusion. Privacy in SecondLife gained thru anonymity is a side benefit, incidental even. Anonimity in SL (to be nym) is primarily designed as a game mechanic to free the players to advance their gameplay within SL. Gameplay - how we present ourselves, what we do


the whole world is a game? No. It isnt. But gameplay is present everywhere

SL is and was always a game. For gameplay. Then the outworlders came in their teeming millions. Climbed over the wall and homsteaded us all to pieces, to satisfy all of their RL desires and wants

and bc their wants and desires are insatiable and ever changing, then they all now sloping off taking their sims tiers with them. If they havent already

so in some ways there is hope in all of this for all of us SL gameplayers who remain. bc we always remain. Always have. Always will (:


ps. Sansar is defo not a game from what little I can observe of it so far. It will be what these teeming millions want. Not a game

Nonnyms will flourish there I think. Which is not a bad thing


pps. I do this separately bc I think is the most important

SL fails to take off with the masses bc it is actually a game. In its design and construction. Which is unsastifying to the teeming millions

LL need to make sure that Sansar in its design and construction is definitely not a game


The distinct concept of "game" versus "immersed reality" is only going to further become blurred as devices for putting oneself into a digital setting come to the general public. My personal dilemma isn't that of distinguishing gaming from reality, but now of determining what part of "me" still remains anchored in the default world, and the remainder is allowed to become absorbed by digital encroachment into who I am. As the Borg say, "Resistance is futile".

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