Yesterday in Sweden

fakeSpeaking of things that never happened, it’s remarkable how quickly facts can get twisted and distorted in SL, and result in an account of events and occurrences that simply never happened in quite the way that gets recounted.

Official messages from Linden Lab get completely twisted and given entirely new meanings; rumours and surmisings get presented as hard facts; and inevitably, just as in RL, the passing on of information suffers from ‘Chinese whisper’ syndrome, and by the time any message reaches you, it bears little resemblance to it’s original content.

A friend who falls to log in for a couple of days may return to find their nearest and dearest mourning their untimely demise, blogging about what a wonderful person they were, and fighting over who gets to purchase their prime piece of corner plot once the rent runs out.

Any official announcement about anything by the Lab: Planned or unplanned maintenance, new features, changes to any aspect of SL, anything at all really, will invariably be misinterpreted as unequivocal evidence that SL is at an end and about to be thrown into the skip outside the back door of the Lab and taken away to the city dump, carnage16_001never to be seen again. The degree of misinformation to be found surrounding such announcements is such that should the Lab ever actually announce the demise of SL, the rumour mill will almost certainly interpret it as a proclamation that the virtual world is here to stay forever!

It’s not just fake, or misinformed news that proliferates in and around SL: The ease with which it is possible to misread, misinterpret or mistype conversation can lead to a wealth of misunderstanding and confusion, some of which can lead to considerable hilarity and mirth. At other times, misreported accounts of inworld happenings can result in fallings-out, upset, and a complete break down in communication between friends, turning them into enemies simply because of a simple typing error.

I suppose that SL is no different to the real world inasmuch that if something feels wrong, it quite possibly is, and if we really want to get our facts right, it always pays to check them out thoroughly before passing them on to others or relying upon them to be accurate ourselves. It makes a whole lot of sense and can avoid a huge amount of grief and unnecessary angst. At the very least, a quick sanity check can mean the difference between keeping our mouths safely and discretely shut, or making a complete and utter fool of ourselves in public by presenting something that is clearly a load of twaddle, as gospel truth.

Nuff said.

s. x

Save some face, you know you’ve only got one
Change your ways while you’re young
Boy, one day you’ll be a man
Oh girl, he’ll help you understand
The Killers – Smile Like You Mean It

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This entry was posted in Philosophicalisticality, Rants, RL, SL. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yesterday in Sweden

  1. isfullofcrap says:

    SL is a refuge for a lot of folks with RL issues, especially with things being out of control or changing in ways they do not like. (Golly, what first comes to mind, eh?)

    That anxiety extends to portents that the Lab is doing X, Y, or Z… or might be doing X1, Y1, or Z1 as a result of X, Y, or Z. Or, they see ambiguous signals, such as Michael Linden’s profile going dark, get interpreted in many ways… is it an error, some folks preferring to reach out an ask, others wait-and-see, etc.

    These days, I try to channel any of that anxiety or fear into humor through SecondLie. (But some of it leaks out in my shadow blogging, of course)

    -ls/cm

    • I’d say you’re absolutely right in respect of SL being a refuge; the problem with that, as I see it, is that the somewhat provincial and, at times, incestuous nature of such a confined virtual space makes it a breeding ground for conspiracy theory and paranoia – that coupled with a very vocal embittered old guard of ex-SLers, who for some reason refuse to let go of what is at best a tenuous remaining connection to the virtual world, creates a vicious circle of misdirected ire and ambiguity.

      I probably come across rather aggressively when discussing the topic – it does irritate me immensely that those who are unable to channel their negative feelings in the way that you do, and who possibly see SL as their escape and refuge from that same negativity in the real world, can feel trapped and helpless in such a caustic environment.

      I think it’s the way in which SL, and the wider SL metaverse, has recently, as a consequence of events in the politically polarised real world, become something of a platform for those who feel aggrieved or empowered and choose to exploit it to further their own agenda.

      Personally, although a Brit, I have my own views, but they’ll remain my own, (in much the same way that it seems to me you also have tended to steer clear of the subject) – although there may occasionally be some leakage, as happened today, borne out of frustration and the simple desire to get back to the normal business of having fun – and I don’t see that happening for some time yet. Yes, SL has always been rife with rumours of the sky is falling… That’s fine, but lately it does feel that, rather than being a mostly passive reaction to the occasional misinterpreted message, it’s being wielded subversively as a weapon – it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      /rant over

      On a happier note, it’s great to see that Michael intends to remain a part of SL and has no intentions of heading off into the sunset. Top bloke.

      s. x

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