Culture and Society in the Age of the Internet
I was surprised when I started becoming like my avatar until I realized that avatar creation is an experimental process that helps us understand how we authentically see ourselves. There are many factors about life that can't be controlled, but the process of avatar creation and participation in Second Life, a highly creative environment created by participants, has deepened my design aesthetic and perspective across all areas of my life. I run a bureau of my business, Dancing Ink Productions, in Second Life, working with major global companies like IBM, Manpower and Linden Lab, the company that owns Second Life. So my avatar needs to be professional, but that doesn't just mean "in a suit." I'm also an artist, and I've worked on prototypes for major commissions in Second Life. Becoming more like my avatar is a design aesthetic but it's also a real-world experiment in self-creation and meaningful collaborative relationships. It's important that this dynamic be explored because it's going to permeate the global culture and economy in the Imagination Age. Identity and community creation are becoming less rigid and more fluid, like a game, and this might just be what saves us from ourselves over time as we face challenges that require a new approach.
DN direct link: http://www.pbs.org/frontline/digitalnation/participate/?p=5740