There are a whole range of things about sl that we don’t necessarily think too much about when we’re logged in, and which we possibly imagine would be a great boon to real life, however if we really did try to translate them into the real world, we might find ourselves getting into a whole heap of trouble! Here’s a few thoughts about things that seem, on the surface, to be great ideas, yet if we really could adapt them for rl, it would cause us some considerable difficulty.
How great would it be to have a real world inventory? A repository into which we could throw everything we accumulate on a daily basis and keep it with us at all times, ready for instant retrieval at any time we might need it? Sounds good doesn’t it? That is, until we think again… when was the last time, for example you had a really good tidy up of your inv, and for that matter, when was the last time you spent an age trying to find something that you know is in there, somewhere?
Would we really be any more meticulous with the way in which we managed a rl inventory? Just imagine the nightmare of sifting through a couple of week’s rl inventory bloat – the last food shop, (all 114 items of it), the bits and pieces we pick up from all over the place… that coffee yesterday, and the little bags of sugar and wooden stirring thing that came with it; clothes; bric-a-brac and, if you’re anything like me, about a million notecards, (OK, post-it notes) – now try finding that new outfit you bought, handily labelled by the store in a way that completely defies any description we might apply to it, (and then, when we do find it, we slip it on only to make a fool of ourselves, as we parade around wearing a giant carrier bag). Or maybe you fancy trying to retrieve that incredibly important phone number that you wrote down sometime this week – it’s there somewhere, in with all the other notecards called, ‘notecard’. Let’s not even imagine what it would be like to sift through all those items called ‘object’ – it’s just not feasible.
What about the fear of theft? You just know there’s some clever criminal out there who would work out how to steal all your worldly goods, just by walking past you – not a great idea, i’m afraid!
Imagine if every single shop was like Argos – loads of pretty pictures of what we’d like to buy, but absolutely no way of knowing that it’ll fit, or even that the real thing looks anything like what’s in the picture, leaving aside the wholly likely scenario that’ll it’ll make us look like we’re wearing a potato sack, with the potatoes still in it!
Need an assistant? No problem – just leave a message or send them an e-mail and someone might be along to help out… someday, (provided it’s not the weekend, or one of the numerous days they insist on making themselves unavailable, so they can add even more new lines to their product range).
And can you imagine if rl stores ran hunts like their sl equivalents – just the slightest hint that there might be something free in the local Co-Op in rl would have the place besieged by hoards of grasping freeloaders, all desperate to get their hands on something for nothing – it would be like Black Friday, every single day!
Ever wished you had the same control over the sun and moon in rl as you do in the virtual world? Bad idea!
OK, so it would simply be your own perception of the world that would change, with all those around you completely oblivious to your time of day, but that’s a recipe for making enemies double-quick. It’s all fine until you decide to turn the sun on in the middle of the night – suddenly, it’s daytime for you, and off you go mowing the lawn, hammering nails, and singing at the top of your voice, all of which is intensely annoying to your neighbours, who are trying to get some sleep… BECAUSE IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE BLOOMING NIGHT!
Then when you try to grab some shuteye, what happens? Exactly… your neighbours decide it’s mid-afternoon and perfect to invite the local Hell’s Angels round for a bit of a barbecue!
The fact of the matter is quite simple really – sl things work in sl, and sometimes they work very well, but bring them into the real world and suddenly it’s not quite so straightforward – just be happy with what you’ve got, because it could all be so much worse!
Signs are right
The signs are here
Who needs virtual world
When I can see it now
The Verve – Virtual World