Monday, November 8, 2010

Huis Clos

Waterfalls told me today I wasn't writing about her in the proper tone, so I decided to write this sentence in the proper tone.  That's about all I can really think to say about her at the moment though.

The question came up of why I write the things I write about SecondLife.

For me the question is more one of how could anyone see the things there are to see in SecondLife and not write about it.

A lot of what I see and write about is fairly mundane stuff, but sometimes when I log into SecondLife it's a three-ring retard circus, especially in welcome areas and info hubs.

The thing I've written about over and over, and really believe, is that the worst mistake you can make in virtual reality is to get your ego involved in the process.  Once you do that, once you start to care about staking out territory or maintaining a "position" or some sort of online reputation, you're sunk, and it's only going to get worse.

That's why I make no secret of my real life information.  This business of having people discover your real name become the worst possible thing that can happen in SecondLife is insane.  Dozens of real life people see me every day, why should it make any difference if SecondLife people can too?  They can't be any more annoying or crazy or malicious than the people at a store or in traffic.

You want to know what I really see when I log into SecondLife?

Sometimes I see Jean Paul Sartre's play Huis Clos ("No Exit" in English).  The play tells the story of four people, locked forever in a room together, never satisfied, always hating, always plotting, and they can't even escape by death because they're already dead and in hell.

It's the ego that makes it hell, and when you have multiple people trying to press their ego over each other, then they sometimes get trapped, always searching for a way to win advance, revenge, some leverage against each other, but unable to so the cycle continues.

It's worst for guys like Nero or Harrison or Dummythrust or Jonny Rumsford, who return to the same scene over and over only to become the target again and again by the same people.  They return because they've convinced themselves: one day it will be different, one day they'll have the advantage, but it never changes and the struggle continues day after day after day.

Some people escape the cycle by writing about it.  The troll manual does, as does Crap Mariner's blog and others.

Some make the cycle much worse though like Prokofy Neva's blog.  Prokofy demands people recognize her as the queen (king?) of her area and gets a little insane if anybody challenges it.  Although the perspective is quite different, the process is not unlike Waterfalls claiming the steps of Ahern as her kingdom and going a little insane if anybody challenges it.

The only sane conclusion one can make here is that "status" in SecondLife is meaningless.  If you can't do what you do on SecondLife because it's interesting or fun or funny then you're probably just annoying yourself (and the people around you).

It's not just the retards that fall into that pit though. 

There are trolls who troll because it's funny to them or to their friends, and that makes a fair amount of sense.

There are others though who figure it's all about making somebody else look bad whether it's funny or not and they end up just making themselves very negative-minded people and from it (logically) develop a nihilist or misanthropic point of view on life.

Sometimes you can almost see them going over their mental list trying to figure out how they can belittle this new person they've encountered.  One day I saw two trolls go on for thirty minutes because somebody made the arms too short on their avatar.  I guess they reached the bottom of their list and short arms was all they could come up with.

I guess I should apologize if anything I write hurts anybody's feelings.  I'm more sorry if they actually give a crap though.


  1. I know your real name Boyd, you're in trouble! You owe me money Boyd! The arms on your robot avatar are too short! Oh yeah, one other thing, GET OFF MY STOOP!

  2. Water is one that Ive often wondered about...occaisionaly a rather unpleasant profile text....
    I guess I would be totaly surprised if I ventured forth one day and didnt see the same people standing at the same places... after all Secondlife is such a stagnant place

  3. Eh, Hell's kinda nice after a while.


  4. Sure beats Ahern CM....or just that Dante was writing a few hundred years too soon

  5. There's nothing wrong with having a strong sense of self and defending your turf. The world would be a better place if people stopped collectivizing, as you are doing with this faux "view from nowhere" egoless shtick.

    Crap Mariner is obsessed with harassing me and stalking my every move and comment, it is some kind of strange broken psyche.

    The infohub infesters are people who have a constant need to externalize and try to get a rise out of other people because of their own weak sense of self.

  6. Springs Mighty

    I've also been wondering about the taboo of revealing information I'd never considered personal before my entry to Second life.
    Is it part of the paranoia, which seems to pervade RL, which makes many totally risk averse and prone to panic when a friend or family member isn't instantly available via telephone?
    It seems to make a friendly enquiry immediately threatening even with the almost impenetrable anonymity that SL enables. We spend our time, 'here' if you will, socialising at arms length in full view; wearing our masks and disguising our voices. Perhaps that's the fundamental reason: anonymity allows many to be themselves as they would like to be but lack the social skills that are learned and not given to many of us.
    Perhaps my thoughts answer that question for the reader but it depends entirely on your position and level of paranoia or despair or just plain awkwardness in real life.


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