Location: Kunstlercast site
Kunstler riffed on Second Life last week, in his weekly podcast, recalling SL as a place "where you adopt the persona of a raccoon with big tits and go around trying to make dates with people. It's funny how it all resolves itself into a lot of social maneuvering, basically for sex. It's so dumb. We're such monkeys when everything is said and done."
I laughed with recognition. We've all run into such SLers. Kunstler's vitriol also reminds us of what mainstream media and students of the generation I teach find so bizarre and, often, repellent, about virtual worlds and MMORPGs.
At the same time, Kunstler makes a more cogent point when he says:
"We've got to stop kidding ourselves that virtual life is as good as real life."
Here, I tend to agree. Virtual worlds enhance and extend, and they enable contacts that would be nigh impossible in the tangible world. They don't replace...as much as the transhumanists would wish. One trip into my garden this morning, to set out some basil seedlings and draw water from my rain-barrels, reminded me of what I miss, sitting in a chair and typing.
Surf to the Kunstlercast at http://www.kunstlercast.com/ and point to podcast #108: The Virtual Realm vs. The Authentic. Decide for yourself how much time we should be spending in irreal spaces, be they online paradises or the doomed consumerist landscapes of our hellish suburban strips.