Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blogger Challenge 3: Relationships

Dr. Freud
Location: Doldrums of Slacker Land

Time for some analysis. I just cannot motivate myself during the time when my annual report, assessment data, and other tedious rituals of summer oppress me. Thus I completely went slack after my first two answers to Alicia Chenaux's Blogger challenge. In fact, I am rather bored now with SL, but Alicia managed to apply the jumper cables nicely to my attitude. I'll cover the rest of her challenge topics in coming days.

The third of her challenges involves this question:

How hard do you think it is to find a relationship in SL? If you have an SL relationship, have you met in the physical world? Would you meet them? Do you think it would change your SL relationship if you met?

I'm going to have to talk about this from a distance. Mrs. RL Iggy put it clearly when I began SL: "cyber" is the same as RL infidelity. Fair enough, but what do I think about the idea of an SL relationship?

While I've not been involved romantically with any ladies I know from SL, I do think it possible to have a satisfying intellectual / platonic friendship and even form working partnerships for writing or professional presentations. That would include men as well as women. AJ Brooks and I drafted a grant proposal, Dan Holt and I share ideas about writing classrooms, Viv Trafalgar and I have worked on a conference presentation and are drafting an article based upon our advice for developing literary simulations in virtual worlds. I plan to meet both AJ and Viv next year in person, when we travel to a few conferences. I doubt it will change much in SL, since I chat with them in real life.

I consider several of my VWER colleagues to be friends, and I plan to meet Kali Pizarro when, fates willing, Mrs. Iggy and I trek across the U.K. on foot in 2012. The nice thing about all these SL-to-RL meetings is how it gets us in touch with a network of folks who share an interest in these irreal spaces for professional reasons, a circle hard to find on one lonely campus.

Moreover, they put up with a lot from Iggy, who can be a smartass and dumbass.

So while I don't know how folks manage the pixel-to-person transition for romantic relationships, professional networking can develop into friendship and real-world collaborations out of Second Life.

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