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Marybeth Cooperstone wrote:

Czari wrote:

We're either in the same SL church community or we've crossed paths somewhere along the line as your name looks familiar

Yes, I know we have crossed paths in-world. The church I "attend" has a big church with services 12N SL time on Sunday and 12N SL time on weekdays in a smaller chapel. I am usually busy on Sundays but sometimes attend; I am at work during the week but sometimes (1 or 2 times a week) get to the service in the chapel, using a computer in my office.

I know that some members roleplay, either because they have told me or because of the look of their avatar. Perhaps someone roleplays by going to the church services, listening to bible readings and prayers, but I doubt it. That would be very boring. After the service (or before) there is sometimes some discussion of personal lives, what people are doing outside of SL. Sometimes people ask for prayers for family or friends that are ill or in need. That seems to be real, but obviously one can't prove it.

However, the people seem to care about each other. The leadership team of the church is from all over the world and their RL names, e-mail, and bio info is on the church's website.


Yes, same church. :)  I generally attend the Sunday 12 noon SLT service and others if I can.  I forgot about mentioning that the leadership team is totally transparent with RL names/photos and background on the website.  I recently joined the welcoming team and provided my RL photo and name for my website bio but it wasn't included, which is probably a good thing.

There are several members of the congregation that I can think of offhand who role play in other venues and prefer to stay in that avatar all the time, including services, but I am pretty sure they are not role playing "church" since one is on the leadership team and the other very involved in other ways. 

Great to *see* you. :)

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

Dillon is an accurate psychological reflection of who I am (just shut UP about physical).

This made me think of how very different the SL avatar "landscape" would be if it were a requirement to create our avatars *exactly* how we look in RL.  I think a lot of us can say "shut up about physical." ;)

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honerken wrote:

It's just to hide their "interesting" fantasies from people in RL I guess.  I've never seen another online community who was so interested in pretending that they don't have a RL at all.  But that's fine I guess.

Then you never ventured into the role play IRC channel I inhabited for 15 years where talk of "RL" was forbidden as it would detract from the rp atmosphere.

As I previously mentioned, however, even though I was in a role play environment "Czari" in that setting was still the real "me" (reactions, thoughts, emotions, etc.) - just in a rp setting.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

honerken wrote:

It's just to hide their "interesting" fantasies from people in RL I guess.  I've never seen another online community who was so interested in pretending that they don't have a RL at all.  But that's fine I guess.

Then you never ventured into the role play IRC channel I inhabited for 15 years where talk of "RL" was forbidden as it would detract from the rp atmosphere.

The divide here in SL between inworld and offline is the norm in most online communities I've encountered unless they were meant as places to contact RL people (Facespam). The divide you see here is the norm in most MMOs I have sampled, and in quite a few discussion forums. I don't have an IRC past, but it does not surprise me at all to hear this divide was normal there as well.

SL only becomes unique in that you can get somebody who tries to force past the barrier banned.


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I often think it's an age thing as well.  Mid 40s here, and been online since mid 20s.  You just didn't give out your personal info until you got to know a person.  The younger crowd is on Facebook (as am I), but it's all "real" (supposedly) info.  Real name, city, etc.  At one time, I used my *main* FB (real info) for games, and had a buttload of people, I made sure I put most of those people into specific lists so that my personal info (other than name) wasn't available.  So many come here & want to just add everyone like some kind of tally.

Heck, I've gone to RL clubs and might not even give people my real name there.  I had a standard "club" name because I wasn't looking to pick up anyone.  Never gave out my number, but took theirs if they gave it & threw it away when we left.

My RL, I may discuss *some* of the things I do/have done online, but damn sure not all.  Just as in SL (or any other online community), I discuss some, not all .  I like what Pussycat says regarding many online areas.  Again, maybe it's an age thing, but so many seem to think of SL as some "special different" place, and in some ways it is.  But, in others, it really is just another online venue, site, etc.  with cooler graphics. 

Hypothetically dancing in a club with someone I just met.

Him:  What's your name?

Me:  <----- Nadia

Him:  Where are you from?

Me:  NYC  (catch me in a crappy mood & you'll get "+3SL" or "East Coast USA" as an answer)

Him:  Married?

Me:  Single in SL, married RL.

Him:  Age?

Me:  Way past legal.

Him:  What kind of work do you do?

Me:  In SL, I have made clothes, hosted, managed a club, danced, stripped

Him:  No, I mean for real.  

Me:  Is this an interview?

Him:  Let's voice.

Me:  *mute* & TP out.

Meanwhile, after having chatted to this particular person over a period of time and deciding whether I like them enough to share personal info.. could be days, weeks, months, I may share my real first name, pics, etc.  I no longer have a mic and haven't had a cam in years, and am in no rush for either.  

I've also just recently put more info in my profile that I'm not interested in a person's RL info immediately.  Don't want to know what you look like dressed or undressed, don't care what you sound like.    Way past tired of getting pics nekked & dressed within 10 minutes of meeting someone.  

Sorry for ranting.  LOL

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Susan Kenin wrote:


Knowing that some people roleplay on SL, is it a problem that some people who are in discussions about church, parent, and lawyer stuff aren't who they are pretending to be?

You asked someone else but since this is an open, public discussion, mind if I chime in?

It doesn't bother me that the person discussing football is a female av played by a male, but, if a female av pretends to be female but is actually a rather misogynistic hetero male in real life, and tries to convince others to share their real life information, or portrays real life females in a bad light by portraying a 'real life female' with a really nasty personality in Second Life...I find that off putting. Another example might be a real life male who portrays a female avatar/female in real life, who is some caricature of female sexuality. I don't mind if someone is a different gender, appearance, age, etc., but don't pretend to be something in real life that you are not in order to get over on other people or take digs at a certain population. That, I find to be wrong. In a really vague way it could be considered to be against TOS if one, say, used their avatar to defame some other group. (Gender is one group.)

Very hard to explain what I mean, but, if people have run into this type of thing online, they probably know what I am getting at. 

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In general, I have no objection to roleplaying even though I do not do it. If a medieval young female avatar (really an old man) joins in a discussion or attends a group meeting, OK. There are only a few things I would object to, but I have no evidence that they occur on SL (but they have occurred on discussion boards).

I would not like it if a male, using a female avatar, does things to disparage females that has creditability only because everyone thinks that he is female. For example, a statement from a female avi that "I and all of the women I know ........" Same goes for someone posing as someone of another religion, nationality, profession, or whatever if the purpose is to make that other group look bad.

It is one thing to roleplay as someone different; quite another thing to deceive people about your real life.

Some things may be unethical and perhaps, in some places, illegal. For example, if you are not a lawyer but you claim to be a RL lawyer and give legal advice, that is a problem. Same goes for lay people who claim to be a doctor in RL and give medical advice.

But, as far as I know, almost all RPers keep SL and RL separate and do not try to deceive others about their real lives. I think that for those who are interested, role playing can be quite entertaining and even educational.

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I agree with you about roleplaying and roleplayers. Most of them are highly intelligent and imaginative and all know they are playing a character.

You said it very well about the difference between that and "I and all the women I know..." or "Us girls..." when that is NOT a girl, never was. But a man who has less than a wonderful opinion of women. As you said, the same goes for any groups. And by the way I'm not speaking about true transsexuals either, or transgenders. There is a difference. But many in SL play the other gender for some sort of fetish, (example: a highly sexually frustrated male portraying a nymphomaniacal female avatar, in some cariacature form, or a female av who is highly aggressive in personality, or some other negative portrayal) or some feeling of 'getting over' on someone. 

I also see a difference between a regular forum presence that is presenting themselves as something they are not, or roleplaying. Here we speak about real life issues, and people might form their opinion of a religion or a gender or any group based upon what someone presenting themselves as representative of that group, says and does. It's all subtle, and a lot of it will take place subconsciously, but it is a valid concern.


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In our relationship we have the following hierarchy of importance concerning RL/SL/RP

1Real Life
2Second Life
3Role Play

This governs our behavior and makes things easier when the inevitable disputes arise.

The 1st life tab of my profile reads

"30's, female, EU timezone. Master gets to know my RL, not many others."

The small number of people who have my RL know quite a bit. Its quite simple, that's what everyone else needs to know about me, and until I know you well, that's all you are going to get. What I do here is my business and I enjoy being free to explore the people and interests I choose here with out it impacting on my RL.

Most of us here in this thread are I feel in agreement that the prevalence of younger RL people who have grown up with a more conventional social media full disclosure type expectation of everything online. It is almost a vestige of teenage insecurity, and I can understand it.

In D/s it is a bit different, there because of various factors most people expect disclosure and verification of age and gender before almost any interaction takes place (Not talking about RP, but about a more RL/SL relationship) Having been through this process I understand now why. It allows us more trust and trust is vital in D/s, it is as simple as that.

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It is and it isn't.  While it's certainly not a requirement to keep SL separate from RL, I think for most people it's a good idea, at least for privacy reasons.  It also helps with the immersion factor.  If people do not want to divulge information about their RL on SL, others should respect that choice.  If they do, others should respect that choice as well. 

On the other hand, it's important to remember that while the SL world itself only exists inside computers, the people who use it are very real, and should be treated with the same courtesy and respect as you would treat someone in real life.  Saying SL isn't RL doesn't make it ok to be an **bleep** to someone (unless it's part of a roleplay, and it's clear to everyone involved that it's part of a roleplay).  

It's really whatever you want it to be though.  Whether or not you want to keep SL and RL separate is up to you. 


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Online, in SL and in RL, I never lie about who or what I really am, but I don't tell everyone everything either.

 I'm a middle-age, white woman in RL (and usually in SL), but I have other avatars & RP personas. When I wear an African avatar shape & skin, it is either because I'm RPing as a classical Egyptian woman or because I'm modeling male clothing I made for pictures. If I wear a wolf or cat avatar, I expect people won't think I'm really a wolf or cat either.

 If I chat with someone in SL or read something in their profile that I have in common with them, I may share more information, but much of the time my complete background & interests is not relevant to my interactions with people. Sometimes I don't even want to discuss information I've put in my profile, but it's there in case it's relevant to the person reading it.

 If in RL I'm discussing being a caregiver to a parent with dementia, my being a pagan witch is an identification that is irrelevant and could damage my interaction with the person I'm talking with. They might identify as Christian and might be upset if I say I'm a witch. They might not feel free to share their experiences or might view me with suspicion & fear.

 Online, I'm not going to tell people my real name, address or workplace, because that is information they don't need & I don't want to have shared with strangers. I may tell them what city I live in, but only because it's big city that won't provide identifying information to them.

 If I'm interviewing for a job, I'm not going to tell the interviewer than I'm a bisexual pagan who plays in Second Life either. It just makes sense to segregate your personal information and only tell people what they need or have a right to know.


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Persephone Emerald wrote: "It just makes sense to segregate your personal information and only tell people what they need or have a right to know."

Exactly that is the reason here in Germany we have a 'Right to anonymity'-clause in our data protection laws.
And it is this clause, which is Facebook is at odds with german government officials.
Facebook's real name policy is a violation of this rule and the case is going to court in the next few weeks.
The law clearly states, that social media providers (like Facebook, SL, etc.) must allow sign up under a 'pseudonym',
that means, you can call yourself anything you want, the provider is not allowed to request to use your real name.
Since Facebook is present in the EU and offers its services in Germany, that rule applies. I expect Facebook losing that court case.

Linden Lab follows that rule, only LL's billing department can connect my SL-user name to my RL-Address.

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It's times like those that I love Germany and want to give it a big hug. My arms aren't that long, though.

No but seriously I totally agree that it should always be an option. I've seen talk in the direction of making the whole internet real name only and I think it's a bad idea. People need their graffiti walls.

Persephone, I understand what you wrote and I don't see anything wrong in it. It wasn't what I was referring to in the example of 'getting over on someone.' No one needs necessarily tell everything to everyone. We all deserve our privacy and there is a time and a place for everything. Of course, those with whom we are most intimate should know a good deal more about 'who we are' in the end, than a client, colleague, or casual acquaintance. And of course, I'm speaking in broad terms.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I try not to mix RL with SL, i have done so on the odd occasion and it only gave me the feeling that my privacy was being intruded upon.

If i really wanted to share private personnal details with somebody who to all effects is a stranger to me online there are plenty of aternative websites other than SL.

I come onto SL to forget and escape from RL not to talk about it or share it with others, i was even a bit apprehensive about putting up a real world snapshot and really have no interest in what a person does in RL apart from what country they reside in and age so unless they personnally chose to advertise something they do in RL that catches my interest i would much prefer to keep all conversations SL only.


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  • 4 months later...

Me too. I know no criminals in RL, nor any extreme psychopaths in such a dose in RL.


Yet I encountered a lot of serious psychopaths and people with criminal records from SL. I also saw people from SL with so so serious issues which I never ever heard of in my RL.


I was so so disgusted. 


I told myself that even if 90 percent of the encounters are craps, as long as one person or two I met from SL are cool, then the entire journey would still be worthwhile. But the so called "one person or two" I picked out of SL, FFS, I even painted a portrait for him and showed him, only to realize it a long time after, that even the photo he showed me did not look like him at all, along side with all other lies and all the surprises from his disgusting rl facts.


I am unsure if it's just my distorted view or that others think the same. But one thing for sure, is that, I can not manage to attract normal and nice people in the same dose as in my RL. But I am glad I am not in the situation of the inverse any way.

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  • 2 months later...

On the subject of voice I did use it here when I first joined. While I have no objection to it I found that hearing the voice of someone you've gotten to know in text can be something of a let down. You get a mental picture of how someone should sound, then you find they sound awful, or just not as you expect.

That may sound odd, but you know when you've read a book and then one day you watch the film and it feels nothing like the book?

I don't think I've used voice here now for months. It depends on why you're here of course, if you came for combat and gaming I guess voice would be essential, but for my purposes I find I get more depth from a conversation if it's typed. Lots of parcels have voice disabled too. Trying to converse in a busy pub would be chaos, but in text 50 people can talk like mad with no problem.

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Interestingly, (and I probably mentioned this several pages ago but will repeat it anyway) the introduction of voice in 2007 was not popular with a good percentage of the SL population; in fact, I still have my "No Voice" shirt that one of the Resident Answers (old forum) merchants created.

The main objection was that many thought that a majority of people would abandon text and, as you said, clubs and public places with more than a handful of avatars would become a cacaphonous mess.  Thankfully that didn't happen and, although I understand what you mean by sometimes hearing the voice not meshing with one's mental image of another, I've had the opposite experience overall.  It is sometimes difficult to get the "tone" of a comment in text.  Once I've heard someone speak, then read their text in other convos, I have a better grasp on how they mean to come across in text.

Voice is another one of those user choices, many can't stand it, others love it. :)

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