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Joining Your Online and Offline Lives 42

The Escapist this week is running an article entitled Anonymity is not Enough. The article explores the increasing overlap between online and offline lives. From the article: "Freed from accountability for their actions, some players seek to experiment with the more annoying sides of their online identities, becoming in-game griefers or forum trolls. On a more serious level, some use the protection of the screen to pull off scams that can cost unsuspecting players real money, or to stalk other players online (and sometimes offline as well). And for those honest virtual businessmen out there, anonymity can sometimes make it difficult to build the kind of solid reputation of trust that any smart customer looks for."
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Joining Your Online and Offline Lives

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  • For most of /., it's hard to overlap into something that doesn't exist.
    • I'll have you know, I'm out at a bar on Mardi Gras RIGHT NOW. ...god, the shame, it's actually true. Damn, WiFi, damn it to hell.
      • When at Mardi Gras you shouldn't be able to use a computer, Step away from the machine and go get an Avalanche, if you are on Bourbon st. heading towards Canal St they are at the bar on the left one street away from Canal Street. Follow this with a Grenade (don't remember where that is) then repeat untill you can barely walk.
  • Obligatory PA: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19 [penny-arcade.com] Fortnuately, real life is missing that anonymity, and has real consequences to real bullshit.
  • The problem I see the most of is that many people have litereally no lives offline - their entire social world is in some Internet forum or chat room or such. A good number of these people have very limited social skills, and are very difficult to deal with.

    It would be interesting to see some research done with regards to various forms of sociopathy and other psychological disorders that are expressed and / or magnified through "living online" (and this isn't being all holier-than-thou - there aren't a w
    • Well, I had an offline life, but I found it worth more on ebay than holding onto it.

      I'm starting a new life now, and once I get a few more levels, I'll powerlevel people in real life for gold.
    • Conversely, my dwarf warrior has been suffering because my offline life has been too busy. She's in a friendly guild and is at an interesting stage of her life, but I'm not online enough.
  • I rarely hide my real identity, even putting my regular name alongside my characters in game. I think it helps establish some level of trust with the people i'm playing with, though most rarely return the thought. It also helps that goninzo is unique to me, I'm the only one who (currently) uses it, and that's very rare on the internet these days.

    What scares me is not people's anonymity, but usually two other things associated with it. The first is lack of anonymity, which can ruin a perfectly good game

  • It's not a "joining" of online and offline lives which is important, it's a consistency within your online life (or a subset thereof.) The article itself mentions the difference between the two.

    The anonymity between your online and offline life can be important. If i'm a gay-leather-fetishist or a homophobic-neo-nazi i may want to be able to express myself online without having to deal with the negative social repercusions in my real life, and i think that's an important aspect of the net that we shouldn'

  • If you have 20 minutes to waste, this [circa1984.com] is a fun read that takes you through the author's experience with the game Eve Online. The author is a jackass for trying to pull off the scam, but the story is very engaging. I liked it, and I've never played Eve Online, let alone any othe MMORPG.
  • When I played FFXI [playonline.com], it was often times a real pain to get many player's schedules to coincide for missions and quests, and constantly deal with the changes in plans for someone you know in-game. As you moved up in level, it took more and more peoples' collective effort to get anything done.

    Try explaining to your wife that "YES... I KNOW I told you we both could go out for dinner this evening. But that was before I found out the healer (or DD, or puller, or Tank, or whatever) had a flat tire and couldn't m

  • My friend and I created a website Leetster [leetster.com] to create precisely that bridge. Users create profiles in a manner similar to myspace, but providing real life information is highly optional. The site is focused on WoW players, and we have a broad spectrum of profiles from those that go all out with real life info, to those with all WoW-related content, to fake profiles and funnies.
    • Ye gods! Please keep them seperate. The last thing I want is some /.'er showing up at my house, my work, etc. I blog about the in-duh-viduals in my lift as form of therapy. It's likely saved several of them from several varieties of physical abuse at one point or another. However, I don't necessarily know that I'd like them to read it, know who they are and come knocking on my door or stopping at my desk.

      2 cents,

      Queen B

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