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Gopi Passiflora

To what degree do you feel "immersed" in Second Life?

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1 minute ago, Selene Gregoire said:

It was fine the way it was Luca. I understood you perfectly. It just made me think of one of my favorite Moody Blues passages is all.

Yeah I realized that as I scrolled down and read Kali's reply lol, edited my previous post the moment I realized it but I guess I wasn't fast enough. Really need some food to eat and underp myself! 

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3 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

But you can find friends here and you can find close friends, much closer than I've ever experienced at any other internet forum.

I tried to find those friends for 14 years. I found one. She stopped logging in years ago*. With good reason. She got married in RL. 

SL hasn't been the same since, for me.

 

*So did all the others who were "born" on that day that fell into our little noob group. A few just drifted away, others turned out to not be friend material. Our little group even went so far as to grab First Land in the same sim so we could all be neighbors. Some of our parcels were connected so we were next door neighbors.

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53 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

I tried to find those friends for 14 years. I found one. She stopped logging in years ago*. With good reason. She got married in RL. 

SL hasn't been the same since, for me.

This is where we really really nee a "Hug" response on this forum!

 

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Pretty sure I got plenty of folks angry in another thread recently over my opinion on this point.

They're cartoons, and this is a cartoon simulator.

I don't see it as very much immersive at all at this point. You can know and make friends with people - but that's the person behind the keys, not the cartoon.

You can also find fiction pretty immersive - but I just don't much right now with SL.

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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1 hour ago, lucagrabacr said:

Both the physical world and the virtual world of Second Life are equally real and I see them as such so I won't really use the phrase "feeling immersed" for my experiences within SL, more like I know I'm existing within Second Life as much as I know I'm existing within the physical world. 

Might sound a bit weird and I know this is just my opinion, but to me the word immersed in this context makes it sounds like SL (or virtual existence or embodiment in general) is a lesser substitute to one's physical existence while to me they are equal.

It's like asking, "How immersed are you when you eat?" or "How immersed are you when you visit Colorado?", I don't feel immersed doing those things, I just do those things.

Well, but what about the whole thing about "mindfulness?"  It seems to me that what that's all about is a way to become more deeply immersed in RL.

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16 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

Pretty sure I got plenty of folks angry in another thread recently over my opinion on this point.

They're cartoons, and this is a cartoon simulator.

I don't see it as very much immersive at all at this point. You can know and make friends with people - but that's the person behind the keys, not the cartoon.

You can also find fiction pretty immersive - but I just don't much right now with SL.

In general, I agree -- although I do get a bit of a thrill visiting an "Italian village" in SL that evokes, for me, memories of ones that I've visited in RL.

But the very fact that the big tech push in SL is, and really pretty much always has been, for a more "realistic" experience (e.g., mesh, animesh, more seamless animations and experiences, and so forth) suggests that someone, anyway, thinks that a more realistic and immersive experience is what we all want. And probably a lot of us do.

(I've commented before that it's odd that we have the technology now to imagine new and dramatically different kinds of immersive experience, and yet the best we seem to be able to come up with a sort of second-rate simulacrum of the world we already live in.)

 

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3 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

if you go to a movie or play or read a book, and forget that you are experiencing art, you are in danger of becoming a kind of Don Quixote, tilting at windmills that you've convinced yourself are ogres. 

2 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Not to me though. A good book, a Salvador Dali painting, and old Star Wars movie, those are a few of the works of art that can become real enough I can loose myself in them for a little while. Not Second Life. There are just far too many illusion breakers built into the system.

We can watch Star Wars and believe Han Solo is flying between galaxies, but I doubt Harrison Ford ever thought that. The show is always more real from the audience. In SL we are not just in the audience, but also on stage.

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24 minutes ago, Talligurl said:

We can watch Star Wars and believe Han Solo is flying between galaxies, but I doubt Harrison Ford ever thought that. The show is always more real from the audience. In SL we are not just in the audience, but also on stage.

Yes but to me at least it's all about suspension of disbelief. Good litterature, movies, art and music are very much designed to allow you to let go of RL and accept the alternative reality they present. It's a bit like stage magic. You know it's not real (hopefully), it's an illusion. But you want to believe it and if the magician is good enough he or she makes it as easy as possible for you to believe in it. Second Life is not like that. It's crammed full of classic illusion breakers so everything in it always feels fake. Except the people of course.

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On 2/18/2019 at 1:36 PM, Gopi Passiflora said:

When people play video games or explore virtual worlds, they often talk about the feeling of immersion. I suppose what it means is how much they feel they are actually in the virtual world itself.

I think Second Life has pretty great immersion. It's hard to describe, but when you log into Second Life it feels like you are your avatar and you are actually living his/her/its life.

hmm.. for me there is no real immersion. I know I am not my avatar because my avatar is a furry dragonness and I am not in rl. I know the difference between fantasy and reality in this regards. my avatar is just a sudo vessel for me to interact with people here. Its not alive, it doesn't really have a life or feelings or emotions, they are all mine. 

I have often blown my avatar up, fried my avatar, grinded up my avatar, microwaved my avatar, drowned my avatar, shocked my avatar, froze my avatar, turned my avatar in to a statue or some other piece of furniture. did I feel like any of those things were happening to me in rl. not at all. Oh lets not forget having my avatar tf'd into dozens of other things and even turned into a rocket with a head on it that then pops and floats back to the ground with attached to a balloon.

they are all just other visual expressions and really dont cause any feelings besides mild amusement because I can undo any of the changes, none of them are any more permanent or lasting then I really want them to be.

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Prior commentary, TL;DR.

That said, I've participated in immersive RP for over 50 years, from historical recreation through various RPG worlds to virtual worlds. I have electively immersed myself into the several worlds and identified deeply with my avatars in them. In SL I have a Viking era aspect, a Victorian steampunk aspect, and recursively a cyberpunk aspect with several alternative SL presentations. When engaged in those presentations, I *AM* those entities.

 

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I have been too immersed. I scream in RL if I fall off something, I have been know to dive into water because a top didn't load and i was suddenly topless so water meant I was hidden and then I could wait until the top went on, see even my immersion has immersion :P .

I notice when people seem to be missing, not even friends, just people I know should be around somewhere. I feel SL too much sometimes. 

I walk around events more than camera shop, if I am inside too much I have to go outside, I actually feel the 'fresh air' as ridiculous as that is, I actually feel like I have had a breather by being outside doing something.

When I had my Sim The Deck, we used to have a lady that came once a week in full workout gear and she would jog the sim, it was built in a way that you could run around it like a track but it was a commercial sim, outdoors seaside kind of style. I spoke to her one day about it, and she said that it really started her day off happily, I loved that I had created a space to do that.

I used to have tai chi matts rezzed out also and people would come and tai chi, there is just something about SL in that regard that you can get away from the walls and tall buildings etc, get the sand in your toes so to speak.

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38 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Yes but to me at least it's all about suspension of disbelief. Good litterature, movies, art and music are very much designed to allow you to let go of RL and accept the alternative reality they present. It's a bit like stage magic. You know it's not real (hopefully), it's an illusion. But you want to believe it and if the magician is good enough he or she makes it as easy as possible for you to believe in it. Second Life is not like that. It's crammed full of classic illusion breakers so everything in it always feels fake. Except the people of course.

Yes, I agree that I find it hard to suspend disbelief when I am in SL,  although I'm not sure that says as much about SL as it does about me.  I have never been one to find myself falling down Alice's rabbit hole when I read a book, even as I identify with a character or get excited about a plot.  In SL, I can be enthralled by the visual experience and by the effects we can create with scripts, but I am always aware of the fourth wall.  I'm sure a good chunk of it is that I spend much of my in-world time as a creator, so I see the "magic" from the inside. It's hard to fool a magician with more magic tricks.  It's also true that I am fascinated by puzzles, so a part of my mind is always analyzing my environment, doing reality checks to see what's around the next corner, whether I am in SL or RL.  That's probably why I spent such a long career as a scientist.   I truly love being in SL.- I've been here since 2007 and I'm not bored yet.  I joke with my many friends that I want to retire here.  Still, even on my most engaged days I know that I am sitting on a chair and manipulating a world with my mouse --- attached and involved, but not quite immersed.

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The immersion I feel is mostly exploratory and creative.  One of the things I love about SL, is that I can let my imagination run wild and try to bring into virtual existence something I could never do in real life, I can also see what other people have built and feel an appreciation for their creativity.   It is different from a game though, because there is no real objective, no story, or lore, so it is not so much as feeling immersed as it is just enjoying it all.   I imagine if I were to RP,  it would be very easy to get lost in the story and feel invested with it.  I know when I used to RP while playing pen and paper games, it would be very easy to become immersed with the story, feel connected with my character, and the other players participating.  SL would provide such a fantastic setting for that, unfortunately, I rarely have the time to do those things often and I can't juggle that commitment with real life.

 

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3 hours ago, Sasy Scarborough said:

I have been too immersed. I scream in RL if I fall off something, I have been know to dive into water because a top didn't load and i was suddenly topless so water meant I was hidden and then I could wait until the top went on, see even my immersion has immersion :P .

I notice when people seem to be missing, not even friends, just people I know should be around somewhere. I feel SL too much sometimes. 

I walk around events more than camera shop, if I am inside too much I have to go outside, I actually feel the 'fresh air' as ridiculous as that is, I actually feel like I have had a breather by being outside doing something.

When I had my Sim The Deck, we used to have a lady that came once a week in full workout gear and she would jog the sim, it was built in a way that you could run around it like a track but it was a commercial sim, outdoors seaside kind of style. I spoke to her one day about it, and she said that it really started her day off happily, I loved that I had created a space to do that.

I used to have tai chi matts rezzed out also and people would come and tai chi, there is just something about SL in that regard that you can get away from the walls and tall buildings etc, get the sand in your toes so to speak.

I loved that sim!  Very good vibes there.  I remember the first time I went there it was for some hunt or other and so I saw the whole place in great detail.  Now that was a great place to be immersed in.

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8 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

Both the physical world and the virtual world of Second Life are equally real and I see them as such so I won't really use the phrase "feeling immersed" for my experiences within SL, more like I know I'm existing within Second Life as much as I know I'm existing within the physical world. 

 

I totally agree!

In addition, when I login to SL, I become Caroline Resident. A virtual persona which is somewhat different to the real person. I am doing things in SL I also would be doing, if it was possible to actually be in Second Life physically. My Second Life wouldn't be much different then.

I don't feel the same when I login with an ALT, or when I participate in RP. In roleplay and with an ALT, there will always be that distinction between OOC (out of character) and IC (in character). 

Philip Rosedale did a couple of years ago a fascinating speech about developing once virtual self. I just can't find the link anymore. 
Anyone's got that damn link?

Edited by carolinestravels
adding something
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11 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

Yes, I agree that I find it hard to suspend disbelief when I am in SL,  although I'm not sure that says as much about SL as it does about me.  I have never been one to find myself falling down Alice's rabbit hole when I read a book, even as I identify with a character or get excited about a plot.  In SL, I can be enthralled by the visual experience and by the effects we can create with scripts, but I am always aware of the fourth wall.  I'm sure a good chunk of it is that I spend much of my in-world time as a creator, so I see the "magic" from the inside. It's hard to fool a magician with more magic tricks.  It's also true that I am fascinated by puzzles, so a part of my mind is always analyzing my environment, doing reality checks to see what's around the next corner, whether I am in SL or RL.  That's probably why I spent such a long career as a scientist.   I truly love being in SL.- I've been here since 2007 and I'm not bored yet.  I joke with my many friends that I want to retire here.  Still, even on my most engaged days I know that I am sitting on a chair and manipulating a world with my mouse --- attached and involved, but not quite immersed.

I think that that awareness is hugely important. It's a key part of the original context for the oft-cited phrase "suspension of disbelief": in its fuller version, from S.T. Coleridge's Biographia Literaria (1817), the expression is "That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." The word "willing" is vital, because it emphasizes the importance of choice and self-awareness: we choose to allow ourselves to be immersed, and that choice is also the safeguard that ensures that don't get lost in the illusion. Imagine how traumatic it would be to watch the mayhem and murder in Hamlet, or Macbeth, or King Lear on the stage if we weren't always aware of what you call "the fourth wall": we'd be succumbing to the illusion that we were witnessing real murders.

I've met a few people who have become at least somewhat "lost" in that illusion in SL. Not, obviously, in the sense that they forgot they were on a virtual platform, but to the extent that they had surrendered the distance necessary to be able to bring critical analysis and awareness to what was going on around them.

</End of Pedantic Digression>

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37 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

"That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." 

That uncanny valley, though!

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32 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I think that that awareness is hugely important. It's a key part of the original context for the oft-cited phrase "suspension of disbelief": in its fuller version, from S.T. Coleridge's Biographia Literaria (1817), the expression is "That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." The word "willing" is vital, because it emphasizes the importance of choice and self-awareness: we choose to allow ourselves to be immersed, and that choice is also the safeguard that ensures that don't get lost in the illusion. Imagine how traumatic it would be to watch the mayhem and murder in Hamlet, or Macbeth, or King Lear on the stage if we weren't always aware of what you call "the fourth wall": we'd be succumbing to the illusion that we were witnessing real murders.

I've met a few people who have become at least somewhat "lost" in that illusion in SL. Not, obviously, in the sense that they forgot they were on a virtual platform, but to the extent that they had surrendered the distance necessary to be able to bring critical analysis and awareness to what was going on around them.

</End of Pedantic Digression>

I don't give any credibility to these theories anymore ("suspension of disbelief", and "the fourth wall"). I think they're devised by a mind so identified with objectivity, reason, and separation of self from the rest of the world that they are compelled to create an overly elaborate theory in order to justify why we are affected by others in front of us -- feeling and participation in the world around us is seen as the non-default and an unusual process that must be justified by a separate and superior mind.
I would say instead that if a person keeps such emotional distance that they can't feel what the actors feel then they are either emotionally stunted or choosing not to identify.

What does, then, cause someone (such as those you've known) to believe they are actually physically present in a virtual world, on stage, or in the book we are reading? It's a bit scary, isn't it, to know that reality testing could just fly out the window and one could become psychotic, losing track of the physical world? What goes wrong in the brain when this happens? (I tend to think it is a biological process, but one that could be affected by excessive stress, and not simply a "surrendering of the distance necessary to be able to bring critical analyses to an experience"). Nobody knows for sure but there are certainly a lot of theories.
One thing I'm fairly certain of though, is that it has nothing to do with the 'artsy' explanations  of "suspension of disbelief" and "the fourth wall".

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16 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

Both the physical world and the virtual world of Second Life are equally real and I see them as such so I won't really use the phrase "feeling immersed" for my experiences within SL, more like I know I'm existing within Second Life as much as I know I'm existing within the physical world. 

Might sound a bit weird and I know this is just my opinion, but to me the word immersed in this context makes it sounds like SL (or virtual existence or embodiment in general) is a lesser substitute to one's physical existence while to me they are equal.

It's like asking, "How immersed are you when you eat?" or "How immersed are you when you visit Colorado?", I don't feel immersed doing those things, I just do those things.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”—Albert Einstein

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15 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Well, but what about the whole thing about "mindfulness?"  It seems to me that what that's all about is a way to become more deeply immersed in RL.

"Mindfulness", as can be developed through meditation, causes us to let go of patterned ways of seeing reality and function instead in the present moment.  These patterns are a kind of brainwashing that occurs through life experience and they cause us to focus more on the past or the future instead of the present. These patterns function on an unconscious or subconscious level until we become aware. Once aware, we can see the world  in a clearer way and relate to reality with less illusion.

 

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27 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

One thing I'm fairly certain of though, is that it has nothing to do with the 'artsy' explanations  of "suspension of disbelief" and "the fourth wall".

Well, "artsy explanations" seems perhaps a little dismissive of about 2500 years of philosophical and aesthetic inquiry? The underpinnings of the conception of "willing suspension of disbelief" go back at least to Aristotle's Poetics.

But sure, ok: you prefer a biological explanation that essentially discounts the notion of choice and free-will? It's all purely about the science, and we're all just biological machines?

27 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

What goes wrong in the brain when this happens? (I tend to think it is a biological process, but one that could be affected by excessive stress, and not simply a "surrendering of the distance necessary to be able to bring critical analyses to an experience").

You seem to be implying that we are all hard-wired to see the world one way or another. Surely, humans are more complicated than that? Biology and chemistry ("stress") undeniably have a role, but I don't think this kind of mechanistic explanation can adequately explain the pretty complicated relationship that I am enacting -- in fact, choosing to enact -- with you, here and now.

If this is true, what is in fact the point of "art" at all? And how might you explain the difference between what I experience when "empathizing" with Shakespeare's Cordelia, or finding myself confronted with a real life version of the same? Or, for that matter, the undeniable differences that mark how people interact in a virtual or onine context?

27 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I would say instead that if a person keeps such emotional distance that they can't feel what the actors feel then they are either emotionally stunted or choosing not to identify.

Critical distance isn't about not feeling empathy. It's about being aware of the origin and nature of those feelings.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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If you react emotionally to anything that happens to you in SL and you carry the feelings from SL with you after you log out, I'd think thats an indication that you are immersed in SL.

 

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It can be immersive. Then you start dealing with people and it can suck all of your immersion away pretty quickly.

Thats not to say I’m a shut in, quite the opposite. Just saying there’s a human factor that sometimes comes into conflict with immersion.

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3 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

I don't give any credibility to these theories anymore ("suspension of disbelief", and "the fourth wall"). I think they're devised by a mind so identified with objectivity, reason, and separation of self from the rest of the world that they are compelled to create an overly elaborate theory in order to justify why we are affected by others in front of us -- feeling and participation in the world around us is seen as the non-default and an unusual process that must be justified by a separate and superior mind.

Not at all.

Second Life is not and will never be a detailed copy of Real Life. Nor should it be. In that sense it will never be real and that means people will need to "suspend their disbelief", that is accept that a couple of core factors are different from how they usually are.

In my first post I mentioned two works of art and I chose them very deliberately. Salvador Dali can make us believe that clocks are soft and pliable. George Lucas can make us believe that highly trained stormtroopers with high tech precision weapons can miss a barn door at point blank range. That is suspension of belief. (You can call it something else if you like but that's just semantics.)

There are several well known and proven techniques artists of all kinds use to facilitate suspension of disbelief and immersion. You can play around with timing and with deliberate use of distractions, you can prepare and build anticipation, etc., etc.

Edited by ChinRey
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