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Addicted?

By admin | Mai 2, 2008

I am sorry for slacking and posting so little in such a long time. Yet I can’t help to see some good in it. It could help to finally proof - to others, not to myself, for I already knew this - that I am not “addicted” to the net, blogging or - most important - Second Life. I am less sure, if I may not have an addiction to computers (in any way and form), but that’s another story.

It was starting to get on my nerves last year. I wrote a book and a master thesis about Second Life, so I had many reasons to talk about Second Life to people. At some point the inevitable question would be: “And how much time do you spend there? How many days a week do you use Second Life?” And when I told them that I am usually in Second Life every day and spend there anything between 2 and 8 hours a day I got the predictable look of well controlled concern and pity in their eyes, usually followed by an equally concerned and carefully phrased version of: “Have you considered the possibility you may be addicted?”

I did mention that I was writing a book and a thesis, didn’t I? If I were to confess that I spent 8 hours, 5 days a week at a library, would any of them have suspected me to have an unhealthy addiction to the library or books? Would any of the people in an average 9 to 5 job consider themselves “office addicts”? I bet not.

I see this as a combination of two things. First, people tend to be scared about new media. In 1840 it were novels that were supposed to seduce the mind, corrupt the youth and was seen as the root of socially irresponsible behaviour. In 1950 it was television. Ten years ago it was the internet, now it is Second Life and computer games.

The other thing is the rather stupid destinction between what people see as serious work and things that can never be serious, no matter what you use them for. Everything with 3D graphics in it can not be serious - unless you are doing CAD. If it looks in any way or form similar to a comic book or a computer game - even worse. And this is bad news for all you dedicated educators out there. Whatever you may do or say, it just doesn’t look like work. At least not to “normal” people.

I guess I must sound like a nerd now, so I better step off my soap box.

I tried to find a straitjacket or a junkie avi in Second Life to get a screenshot to go with this entry, but couldn’t find either one. If any of you knows where to get the former - I may still be interested.

Topics: general |

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