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Is there something wrong with the "First Life"?

More than 6.5 million people inhabit Second Life's virtual islands. They spend, daily, more than one million very real dollars. Second Life's success is so big that another virtual world, just for kids and teens was created. Different from the real world, Second Life separates kids and adults. This theoretically protects kids from the dangers of interacting with older people. Teen Second Life has a very tempting invitation: "Teen Second Life is an exciting community full of possibility. A place where you have the ability to do almost anything you can imagine within an ever-expanding world created by its residents. Meet complex and compelling characters and explore the Second Life experience together."

Nice! We haven't been able to provide enough security for our kids on the web, so we better confine them in their own world! Here comes a good idea for the real life also: let's create a new country, fence its borders and just drop our children there. No teachers, no guardian, nothing like this. Let them live in a place full of possibilities where they can do "almost" anything they want. No worries about defining what this "almost" means. Let the kids take care of themselves and stop bothering us.

I have no idea about when certain things took place in the human history. I believe one of our ape-shaped ancestors once drank an old, fermented fruit juice, or maybe ate a strange mushroom. This probably led us into a quest for escaping experiences, things that would take us away from the boredom of real life. Around the 60's, psychedelic experiences, specially with the help of LSD, helped the humanity to "open the doors of perception". Sounds became colors, it was possible to talk to objects, to be the objects, to be God.

In 1999 I read a short novel by James Patrick Kelly called Mr. Boy. Mr. Boy had been "stunted" to be always a 12 years old kid as requested by his rich mom, who was so normal that herself was a living replica of the statue of liberty, literally. In the world of Mr. Boy everyone was whatever ones wanted to be, just because it was possible.

Put together the advances of technology, human-machine integration techniques, mind expanding drugs and voila! Reality for what? The virtual world is plenty of "complex and compelling characters"! Even better! We all can be complex and compelling characters! I believe the Matrix started just like this...

Article produced to Dicas-L

See it in also in portuguese in my Diário de Bordo



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