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Does virtual simulation enable or inhibit one's interests in the real world?


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In your experience of SL, be it many years or just a few days, have you noticed the exploration of a particular interest in SL, e.g. furrydom, bdsm, sailing, nudism, clothes designing, etc., has encouraged (or enabled) that interest in real life, discouraged (or inhibited) that interest in real lifeor has not had any effect on that interest in real life at all?

You don't even have to say what specific interest you have in SL, but can speak of the effects it has (or doesn't have) on real life.

Don't worry I haven't suddenly gone to a university! I just thought this was a good question that SL residents could answer with much authority and experience.

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I am able to explore interests here that I don't feel comfortable exploring in RL, simply because the risk/benefit or cost/benefit ratio is all wrong. For example, there are a lot of people in RL that I'd like to push off tall buildings, drown in quicksand, crush with falling pianos, or incinerate in my fireplace. SL allows me to do all these things (and I have). Better yet, I can do this over and over to the same people, saving me the effort of befriending new victims to dispatch.

But I don't think that's made me more or less interested in anything. I have found that people can be more interesting online than in person. That's because I don't get distracted by all the annoying things you all do, like speaking while eating, chewing gum, saying "like" and "umm" excessively, etc. But that hasn't prevented me from putting up with those annoyances in RL. I still make the effort and find it's usually worthwhile.

But it's hard to answer this question, isn't it? We don't have a control self in this experiment, a version of us who's never experienced SL. I imagine everything I do increases or decreases my interest in something, I just don't know what.

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6 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

Having nice pixel things has greatly diminished my desire to have nice molecular things. 

I would say that the ease of painting things in SL has diminished my desire to paint things in RL, but the reality is that the tedium of painting things in RL didn't need help. There is the inescapable truth that every hour you spend in SL (or the forums) is one less hour you spend in RL, so the tradeoff of molecules for pixels is very real.

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I always found talking to people in RL tedious and difficult, making most social situations emotionally draining.  However, I forced myself to endure them because I figured I needed some sort of social interaction in my life, even if it wasn't extremely comfortable or enjoyable.  My SL time, both inworld and in the forums, gives me enough social interaction that I don't feel such a need to force myself out there in RL.  I don't feel obligated to attend parties that will have only a couple of people that I know and tons of people that I don't.  

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5 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I always found talking to people in RL tedious and difficult, making most social situations emotionally draining.  However, I forced myself to endure them because I figured I needed some sort of social interaction in my life, even if it wasn't extremely comfortable or enjoyable.  My SL time, both inworld and in the forums, gives me enough social interaction that I don't feel such a need to force myself out there in RL.  I don't feel obligated to attend parties that will have only a couple of people that I know and tons of people that I don't.  

When I was young, my parents would host summer parties in our barn. We'd show movies, usually silent, on a vintage (1916) 35mm projector. Mom would lay out an amazing spread and Dad would grill the burgers and brats. These shindigs tired me, so I'd walk down to the beach to recharge. And I'd often find Dad down there, taking a much needed break as well.  Nobody, including Mom, ever noticed that we went missing for 10 minutes every hour or two.

Meanwhile, all that commotion and conversation would wind Mom up like a top, and we'd have to deal with her excess energy for the next few days. Which was fine, as it gave us something to commiserate over as we sat silently on the beach, throwing stones at seagulls.

;-).

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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I think both for me.

I'll get into this later, but I don't think SL is the sole culprit for losing interest IRL.

I grew up with SL and been online on and off when I was a early teen, but I became really active around late highschool several years ago. There wasn't and isn't anything like it. I would play MMOs before SL, but I think SL drew me in with its potential with what you could do.

Over the years and through talking to people in-world (and on this forum), I have learned new knowledge and picked up a few skills like how to communicate and express myself more clearly online and RL, tech-knowledge, learn how to style my RL home and my appearance, graphic design, and 3D-modeling.

Again, SL wasn't the sole reason for me learning those things, but it helped.

When I entered college, I began to struggle with my mental health and I think SL became a growing space for me creatively. When I was stressed I would try to unwind by exploring or editing skyboxes and it would help, I think. I think people need a space to grow and be alone, and SL was part of that, for me.

Why I could have trouble connecting with RL is kinda a question Im trying to answer. Am I struggling with that because I invested my childhood with online games and that was a big part of my mental illness, was it because of mental health alone, or both?

I'll keep that in mind for my next therapist visit.

 

 

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Enabled or inhibited? can I say both? I am going to say both, because it is both. First the enabling. Someone already said it is much easier to paint things in SL, which is true. I have done both and I can attest that SL is much easier, but despite that, being able to get back to painting in SL, something I had stopped years ago in RL because of the numerous difficulties, cost, time, having a place to do it, and so on, doing it again in SL has encouraged me to consider going back to it in RL. I am seriously thinking about it for the first time in a long time. Without SL I doubt I would even entertain such thoughts at this point in my life. But, so far that is all I have done, think about it. And a big part of the reason for that is that being able to create virtually, lessens some of the hunger to create, which makes me less likely to actually do it in RL. It is true that creating virtual paintings is not as satisfying as creating real life paintings, but if it is satisfying enough to prevent that hunger from ever motivating me to take action then it has an inhibiting affect.

Imagine you are sitting in your apartment and you have a craving for a thick juicy steak. There is however no steak in the apartment. You start to devise a plan, you don't have enough cash for your favorite steakhouse, but you think, I just need to stop by the ATM and grab another twenty dollars and I can be eating steak. Just then you roommate comes home and throws a pizza box down on the sofa next to you and says, have you eaten? I got us pizza, want me to get you a beer from the fridge? Suddenly all your plans to get steak go out the window, because an easier alternative has become available. It is not as satisfying an alternative as the steak dinner, but it is satisfying enough to keep you sitting on the couch. SL is like this. Of course the danger with SL, is that for some people the thing they don't get off the couch to do, is find someone to share real life with. 

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One of my endeavors throughout my life has been to understand myself. I would say that my experiences in SL have greatly enhanced that process. A lot of them have been things.... activities that I couldn't have in real life because of various factors i.e. affordability, difficulty, lack of courage, lack of opportunity, or just simple impossibility. Those surrogate experiences I have had here, while certainly muted or moderated simply by being virtual, have led me to a greater understanding of myself, my wants, my needs, my foci, and my relationships with the people in my real life. And I don't think I'm done yet.

I would say it has enhanced and, in some cases, created interests in my real life.

Edited by Ivanova Shostakovich
because oops.
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Thanks for the answers! SL seems to satisfy one's interests in things that could be done in real life. SL is apparently quite useful in fulfilling a need for something that would quite time consuming, expensive or some other restriction that stops one from doing in real life.

But has SL ever spurred someone to try something in real life? Like skydiving? I know we do it all the time in SL when we teleport to a skybox that is no longer there.

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24 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

But has SL ever spurred someone to try something in real life? Like skydiving? I know we do it all the time in SL when we teleport to a skybox that is no longer there.

I came pretty close to skydiving during the summer I learned how to fly in RL, but I ran out of time and money. It's still on my list of things to do.

My mind seems to run on two tracks simultaneously. One track is, I imagine, like everybody else's... trying to understand what's going on. The other track is trying to misunderstand in the most cartoonish way possible. That makes SL very appealing. I tried parachuting in SL and don't enjoy it as much as falling to my death without one. And that's why I always wear my "Crash Into The Ground" animation and dust cloud from Curio Obscura.

So, SL hasn't, nor will it spur me to try something in RL. My will to live will intervene.

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I really didn't meet other people from other countries before I came to SL..

Then becoming really good friends with some of them and then learning all kinds of things about their countries..

A lot of lessons I learned for sure from them.. I was only like 19 or 20 when I came here.. So all I really had to go on was what people had told me before I got here..

School and tv and your avg know it all that I learned didn't really know it all after all..hehehehe

I was in such a good place in SL to meet people also.. In one of the busiest clubs at the time..all kinds of people from all over the world coming in and hanging out and many working there..

I had a lot of good friends from there that once in awhile will bump into still..

I learned a lot from here for sure..

one of my friends..Their house was over 500 years old and in his family the whole time and made out of stone.. He said to me,it's much easier if you only have to replace the roof and stuff inside if there is a fire..in our village they were made to last..

I was like omg that is soo freaking awesome! \o/

I was like a sponge...

hehehehe

 

Edited by Ceka Cianci
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42 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

But has SL ever spurred someone to try something in real life? Like skydiving? I know we do it all the time in SL when we teleport to a skybox that is no longer there.

Interestingly enough, I skydived in RL a couple of years before coming to SL so that was one activity I never bothered with in SL.

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Like Maddy, I prefer falling to skydiving in SL. She likes to hit the ground, but I prefer a Bugs Bunny trick where he skids to a stop just before reaching the ground. I fall until I think the time is right then go into fly mode. Most of the time I get within a meter of the ground before I stop. I'm not interested in RL skydiving; I don't trust that the parachute is packed properly or that someone hasn't replaced the parachute with an anvil.

My main activity in SL has been building & landscaping for over 10 years now. I started with 2K and got up to half a full region, but that wasn't enough. A homestead didn't have enough prims (at the time), so I have a full region now. I used to wipe everything and do something new a few times a year, but regions take so much time that I'm down to once a year. I'd love to do the same IRL, but I'd need 16 acres, a lot of money to pay for all the work, and it takes too long anyway. Tell someone you want a large hill taken out and replaced with a deep lake, and you need it done in an hour. I can think of ways to do it IRL, but it's messy and very likely illegal. So SL hasn't spurred me to try something IRL, mostly because I don't have the time or money.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ceka Cianci said:

I really didn't meet other people from other countries before I came to SL..

Then becoming really good friends with some of them and then learning all kinds of things about their countries..

A lot of lessons I learned for sure from them.. I was only like 19 or 20 when I came here.. So all I really had to go on was what people had told me before I got here..

School and tv and your avg know it all that I learned didn't really know it all after all..hehehehe

I was in such a good place in SL to meet people also.. In one of the busiest clubs at the time..all kinds of people from all over the world coming in and hanging out and many working there..

I had a lot of good friends from there that once in awhile will bump into still..

I learned a lot from here for sure..

one of my friends..Their house was over 500 years old and in his family the whole time and made out of stone.. He said to me,it's much easier if you only have to replace the roof and stuff inside if there is a fire..in our village they were made to last..

I was like omg that is soo freaking awesome! \o/

I was like a sponge...

hehehehe

 

Until SL, I had never had a conversation with anyone from Russia, Iran, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and more -- even tho I was very active on Usenet. I think the world would be a better place if more people had this kind of exposure to "foreigners". :SwingingFriends:

It still amazes me that when our avatars are in chat, the translation is automatic. 

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20 hours ago, Ceka Cianci said:

Their house was over 500 years old and in his family the whole time and made out of stone.. He said to me,it's much easier if you only have to replace the roof and stuff inside if there is a fire..in our village they were made to last..

I was like omg that is soo freaking awesome! \o/

Yep, but they also have awesome mortgages...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/mortgages/sweden-cuts-maximum-mortgage-term-to-105-years-the-average-is-14/

My emergency backup Mom emigrated from Germany 6070 years ago. Her sisters still lives there, and is still paying off their grandparent's original mortgage. It's been 20 years or so since I learned of this, and at that time the mortgage wasn't even half paid down.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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I'd love to sail in real life. I am tempted quite often to head down to a local Yacht Club, take lessons, hire a boat for a day.

But Then I remember I won't have my kitten's tail to stay balanced, and with only two human ears, after I capsize I may not notice the ocean cruiser bearing down on me at 15 knots from port.

But then again, it would be fun.

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13 hours ago, Callum Meriman said:

I'd love to sail in real life. I am tempted quite often to head down to a local Yacht Club, take lessons, hire a boat for a day.

But Then I remember I won't have my kitten's tail to stay balanced, and with only two human ears, after I capsize I may not notice the ocean cruiser bearing down on me at 15 knots from port.

But then again, it would be fun.

You're worrying too much. Sailing lessons are reasonably inexpensive (if you have a local sailing club) and it's great fun to ply the waves on wind power alone. As for the kitten's tail, if that thing drops into the water while you're doing 10 knots, it's gonna drag you overboard.

;-).

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