Tired of the harsh realities slapping you again and again, seeking for acknowledgements, finding hard to communicate face to face… and the virtual game world provides exactly what that filled all your emptiness. You could be a plain Jane but in there, you are a hot star popular and eye catching. You could wish to be a kid that never grows up and there the game allows that. You want something your true love life cannot provides you and there you find another one who can fulfil everything. What is real and not? When you think that first life itself is delusional enough, then does it even matter to be stuck in the virtual world for self satisfactory?
All in my life till now, I am not allowed to touch computer games. Ironically the one who bans me from playing them is the one that is stuck, addicted to the virtual world – my own elder brother. I did play one or two rpg when I was really young, but after that I never really touch it. I am not really sad for not playing, because it has come to a point I have lost complete interest in playing computer games perhaps really because I suck at it. I remember secretly logging in to Maple Story which was the most hit game back then and I logged out after five minutes. I can’t even stand that five minute of boredom. As I watched my elder brother being so addicted that he neglected so many things in his first life, computer games truly turns me off. I saw extreme personality change when he was in the virtual world and from the real. And I saw true selfishness.
Exactly. Selfishness, which brings me to my main point. Amie Goode, a housewife in the real world, married, with kids, living in fairly comfortable house yet, claims that something is lacking. I do not doubt her words, regarding that her life is lacking something, but it also shows her discontentment with her life and I reckoned, most likely her marriage life. Yet how far should one push the limits to getting what they want? Should one for her own wishes abandon all moral values and disregard the other parties that may get affected for the decision she made? To me, that is plain selfish. This is exactly who Amie is, abandoning her husband, allowing her child to goes through the process of parents divorcing, accepting another new ‘dad’ in her life. Worst, I don’t sense any remorse from her – “I guess she doesn’t know Mommy is a woman too. haha!”
Unhappy with probably her marriage life, she went to the virtual world to seek for her ‘perfect’ soulmate. It makes me wonder if the reason that people treat the virtual world as real is because they knew that the avatars inside are actually controlled by true human being instead of a computer character. She thought she found him – Bluntly Berblinge.
The documentary proceed revealing them to be a perfect couple in the virtual world however, their relationship goes on rock later when they decided to get together for real in their first life. They claim that they are ’emotional’ adultery. The intimacy inside the virtual world may not be real, but the way they speak to each other, their passionate voice when they are having sex in the virtual world seems to me, no difference from a real adultery.
This raise another question in my mind – the fact that the participants actually feel something in the virtual world, even if the intimacy are between the two avatars, they actually feel that is them, how is this more unreal than the real?
Perhaps because of how real it is, Amide therefore believes strongly at first that Bluntly is the perfect man for her. This brings me to my next point – communicating through the virtual does not really tells you who that person really is. Even with communicating in real life, it is difficult to really understand who a person really is, not to mention Change happens over the years. Every single day, each of us are discovering something new about the people that appears in our life. Every single day, we are discovering more about ourselves too. Communicating in the virtual world, especially in second life, does not even allow you to see the facial expression of the person. Furthermore, the avatars are created the way they are for many reasons – a second self you fear to reveal to anyone for you, someone you wish to be, etc – fulfilling your inner desires.
In the end the couple skype each other and end up meeting with each other for real.
Well, it was certainly sweet at first, but I guess they were too naive to really think that everything will be the same as when they were in Second Life. Stress and pressure build up as they tries to compromise to each other and not to mention trying to gain her daughter’s agreement to Bluntly.
At the end of the video she said “I am real and he is fake.” Picturing herself as the victim. But to me, avatar may just reveal a certain side of the person and not all. Both are real and fake in the virtual world to me.
On a side note, I find it amusing how the documentary reveals how Second Life affects or ruins people’s life and at the same time shows how the producer of the Game simply do not care. Well it is true that what they have provided is only a platform – “it was only an island with trees.” – and amazingly how people started a community and a whole civilization started.