My beef with virtuality
I think my well-known resistance to the idea of Second Life and other environments of its ilk comes down to the curious costlessness of so many choices made there.
Dig this big crux: in virtual environments, use doesn’t happen – not in the everyday sense of wear and tear we know so well from the real world. You and twenty of your closest friends can congregate in a house, and not degrade it in the slightest. Nobody spills wine on the carpet, nobody has an unnoticed smear of pigeon shit on the back of their trouser leg, nobody stands uncomfortably close to you.
This (feature? bug?) of such environments strikes me as a refusal to engage with everything problematic and intractable about actuality, and that’s why I continue to regard them as fundamentally adolescent. They’re like the world, with all the potentially uncomfortable parts smoothed over. Difficulty is life.