Are You Crazy?

Sunday, July 12, 2009 Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's a question I ask myself now and then, simply because of all the insane  and unbelievable situations I find myself in lately. If you can't explain it to your mom, is it because it's too hard to explain, or because you're actually doing crazy things? And does that mean you are crazy?
I began pondering this question after watching a rather good machinima from Pooky Amsterdam, "Shrink Wrapped", in which a typical avatar consults a psychiatrist regarding her increasingly bizarre SL behavior. The main character enters SL for typical and conventional reasons, but then as social activities increase, the avatar reacted by creating multiple SL personalities - and mayhem ensued.

Adding more personalities just makes things more confusing, as there are more opportunities for conflict between the identities. This is especially likely if you invest more personalty into your alt avatars, as did the avatar in the machinima.

I have a couple of alts, but I don't really inject any personality into them; it's as if they're made of cardboard. As a result, I can avoid some of those complex and mentally confusing social situations involving non-cardboard alts. Perhaps I'm not crazy after all?

How about you? Do you have alts that have a truly unique personality? Does the constant mental context switching drive you crazy? If so, maybe you need to see Dr. Occam too!


Anonymous said...

Interesting, Armi. I too have alts and they also are "cardboard" characters.

Firstly, I think if you are in a virtual world any significant amount of time (or excessively, such as myself) you NEED alts. There are things you can't do without another avatar -- like adjust dual poses, for example -- and also they come in handy as a repository for money and transferable belongings. And, if for any reason your main character cannot log on, your alt can go in-world and take care of business (manage your land, accept or send money, etc.).

Nevertheless, there is only one *me* in-world and that's Caliburn. Caliburn is my digital alter-ego, the extension of my mind and personality into the computer network. However, my alts are not me, they are my main character's alternates ... essentially they are my avatar's proxy avatars. :-) No personality is given to them and very little is invested in them (time or money wise).

As far as crazy goes, yeah, I think you have to be a little crazy to have multiple avatars each with a distinctive personality and drama. Just seems "wrong" somehow (uncomfortable). However, that's exactly the way anti-avatar types (virtual world haters) feel about ANYONE who is involved and invested in a digital existence. So it's all POV ... like just about everything is, really. Not right or wrong, just personal preference.

R. said...

At least one of my personalities is sane.


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