There are two types of people in Second Life; Those who live it as in extension of self and those who play it like a game. Generally speaking, those two types of people co-exist peacefully. The problem develops when the two intertwine. These personalities don’t mix well. Attempting to do so creates a volatile cocktail that inevitably explodes leaving one hurt by the other.
I like to call these personalities the “liver” and the “player”. The liver is, in my opinion, a more evolved person. They recognize real people are behind each avatar in world. No matter how well you compartmentalize to keep both worlds separate, feelings are real and will become a factor in Second Life. They cross worlds. Is someone less of a friend because you have never physically met? The liver treat avis in SL like individual people with feelings because that is in fact what they are. Avatars are a digital manifestation of living breathing human beings.
The player is just that. They play SL like a game. To them, anything they say or do is fair game. Because their avis can take any imaginable form and can do any imaginable thing, the player contends it isn’t real. They fail to understand why others take things so seriously. To them, anyone thinking differently is crazy.
At times, these opposite personalities attract. Relationships develop. Everything is enjoyable until the player does something because “It’s just SL. It’s not that deep” that the liver takes offense to. That’s when this insurmountable difference causes destruction. This is when the liver is heard saying things such as “That hurt me. This shouldn’t have happened that way. You should have been upfront about that.” Then the player is heard replying “I don’t know why you’re so upset. This is only SL. This is my SL to do what I want with. Why be here if you’re not going to take advantage of all SL has to offer?” While the liver can often at least see the other point of view even if they don’t agree with it, the player can’t see it.
Let’s face it, in Second life, gossip lives. The liver tells their side saying whatever it is the player did and that they didn’t care about it. They were unapologetic to the situation at all. The player tells their side saying The liver had too much drama. The need to separate SL and RL. They are crazy. Usually, the truth lies somewhere between the two sides. In this case, although the two worlds do indeed have numerous differences, they have more in common. We can all agree the real world takes precedence. Can we also agree that the human factor in this simulated world of Second Life makes this more than just a simple game?