Virtual Relationships

Business consulting, commitment ceremonies, and even sadomasochism happening over the internet without any physical contact? So says this Wired article by Jason Silverman.

These kinds of articles are usually written with an air of smug condescension, with the authors hiding their true thoughts just below the surface - "Look at these freaks. Why don't they go outside and actually do something in the real world?" It sounds like the documentary Almost Real referred to in the article will take a more balanced approach.

Although these virtual communities appear so far to be mostly marginalized to 'fringe' movements, once the technology of virtual reality and strong cryptography is mature enough to be manageable by the everyday user, the result will be a net positive for freedom. Communities will be based more on shared interests, common goals, and voluntary associations than on the happenstance of political boundaries.

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Jonathan Wilde: ? once the

Jonathan Wilde: ? once the technology of virtual reality and strong cryptography is mature enough to be manageable by the everyday user, the result will be a net positive for freedom. Communities will be based more on shared interests, common goals, and voluntary associations than on the happenstance of political boundaries.

That hasn?t been my experience in virtual communities so far, and I don?t suppose you read that article someone posted to this site just a week or so ago detailing some of the ?organized crime? and pervasiveness of anti-social behavior on Sims Online?

Besides isn?t the organization generating the virtual world analogous in all ways to an ?unseen government??

Something I've read re: Sims

Something I've read re: Sims Online - it's just boring as hell if you're not wreaking havoc (or trying to rein in those who do). I haven't played - it looks boring as hell - so I can't say for certain, but I imagine I would probably want to go around breaking things, too, if there was nothing else for me to do that I couldn't do in the real world.

Yep, the other "great" thing

Yep, the other "great" thing about all of those virtual worlds (Sims online, Everquest, Star Wars Online, Ultima Online, just to name a few) is that you can be 100% certain that none of your actions will ever have ANY ultimate consequences.

The worse that can happen is that you can be banished away from the other Souls playing the game permanently.