Notes on the Julian Dibbell “Rape in Cyberspace” article

creepytreatmentAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Notes on the Julian Dibbell “Rape in Cyberspace” article


We will not escape this discussion without dipping into both politics and metaphysics.

Note VR and RL are the two realities.

Description of a MOO


males might portray themselves as a female charact
er

Consider William Gibson’s statement that science fiction is more often about today than
it is about the future (e.g. 1984 was about 1948)


We can represent ourselves as anything we want in the anonymity of our online
representations. Currently this is
mostly text
-
based, though there is limited use of visual
avatars, particularly in multi
-
player online games.

(see
http://everquestonlineadventures.station.sony.com/adventures.
jsp
)



“Only with time and the acquisition of a fixed character do players tend to make
the critical passage from anonymity to pseudonymity, developing the concern for
their character's reputation that marks the attainment of virtual adulthood.”



Consider th
e experience of being able to converse with others in a virtual world.
What are specific advantages this could bring to certain people?

Will the trend of increasing virtual representation continue? How far will it go? What
will be the effects of this?
How about for you personally, how will this affect you?
Come up with a scenario in the future where virtual reality would make things much
different in your life than it is today.


Does the virtual affect non
-
virtual reality?



Direct
vs. indirect
effects:

Consider legba’s reactions: “..I'm not sure what I'm calling for. Virtual castration,
if I could manage it…” Dibbell then writes:



”Months later, the woman in Seattle would confide to me that as she wrote those
words posttraumatic tears were streaming down

her face
--
a real
-
life fact that
should suffice to prove that the words' emotional content was no mere
playacting.”



Later Dibbell writes: “what happens inside a MUD made world is neither exactly
real nor exactly make
-
believe, but profoundly, compellingly,

and emotionally
meaningful.”



``Where does the body end and the mind begin?"

``Is not the mind a part of the body?"

``In MOO, the body IS the mind,"



“People started drifting away. Mr. Bungle left first, then others followed
--
one by
one, in twos and threes
, hugging friends and waving goodnight.”



“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”



Dibbell announces the final stages of our decades long passage into the
Information Age, a paradigm shift that the classic liberal firewall betwee
n word
and deed …is not likely to survive intact.


Does playing violent games make players more violent? Visa
-
versa?



The affable HerkieCosmo proposed ``perhaps it's better to release...violent
tendencies in a virtual environment rather than in real life"

Do you agree?
Disagree? Why? Give some examples.



In defending himself, Mr. Bungle stated: ``I engaged in a bit of a psychological
device that is called thought
-
polarization, the fact that this is not RL simply added
to heighten the affect of the device.
It was purely a sequence of events with no
consequence on my RL existence."




The wizard Haakon would not toad Mr. Bungle unless it was clear that the community at
large wanted it done. In order to do so, the community had to define itself.

Thus it was
a
crisis that elicited the coalescence of community.



How efficient is this as a form of government? Is there an alternative? How does
this mirror/not mirror the real world?



Various personalities surfaced:

parliamentarians,

royalists (bring back the w
izards),

technolibertarians: use the @gag command to not see Mr. Bungle’s drivel.
Problem: others still see it, and it is a r
epresentation of you (or is it?)



anarchists: leave it alone and don’t restrict anything



Consider the self
-
policing policy in the
MOO. Is this a tenable form of
government for the MOO? How about for the Internet at large? Why or why not?



The arch
-
wizard Haakon in the end instituted a system of universal suffrage.
How efficient is this as a form of govern
ment? Is there an alterna
tive?



Consider that Bungle apparently was resurrected as Jester.
How does this affect
your answer about the possibility of self
-
government?