....when you play with scripters. No wonder they have more virtual friends than real ones!
In so much of our immersive play in worlds like Second Life we learn to interact in relation to space, script and experience. Violence plays a big role in this, the violences we do to others as well as to ourselves.
A recent discussion on the Second Life Educators SLED listserv asked where to draw the line on provocative team experiments in an educational setting. When do our actions become griefing and how do we best encourage interactive explorations when the provocation may be akin to an attack?
The Second Front performance troupe delicately walks this line in their performances. During February's NMConnect show on the New Media Consortium campus this group tested the boundaries by actively scripting cleverly hidden attacks, causing confusion and frustration with the participants.
It was pretty funny to see myself in that light and I thank Second Front for those little virtual violences. There's so much room to play in these spaces that we often forget to look at our interactions through a larger scope....the meta gets lost in the micro. Within worlds like Second Life it's easy to get completely immersed in content creation and forget all about social networking, or vice versa. Both can be deeply creative activities that move us beyond the little virtual violences created in most gaming platforms.
One of the most amazing social groups I've seen over the last few years is LiA in Uganda. Life in Africa participants create more than just community crafts in their spaces; they learn computers, business and microfinance and recently hosted a large gathering with Omidyar Network of social venture leaders seeking to do more.
You can help LiA do a LOT by sharing this link with your friends. If you have a favorite store or market for gifts suggest that they pick up a LiA Store Package and directly help dozens of men and women get on their feet through every purchase.
There are very easy things we can do.