Virtual Love: Quotes and Concepts
The following is a series of quotes, both direct and indirect, along with other varied opinions on the emergence of digital-based love, to make you stop and think.
Baroness Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institution, United Kingdom, 2007:
"Could it be that in the future they will say, 'A real relationship! Urgh, how horrible,' " she said. "The messiness and squalor of the real world, and the real-time element, might be offset by the more sanitised, two-dimensional reality of Second Life.
"It scares me in one way, and fascinates me in another, in wondering where it will take people. What impact does having a false identity have on your real identity?"
Mitch Wagner, InformationWeek journalist, 2007:
As I worked on our report on sex in Second Life, I wondered: Is all this gettin' cyber-sweaty harmful? I decided it depends on the circumstances. But I know many of our readers will say it's just plain wrong. What do you think?
I interviewed many people involved in the cybersex community in Second Life, including a virtual madam, a dominatrix, and a few women who just enjoy it. One woman had been doing cybersex for nearly 20 years.
The conclusion I reached to is that cybersex in general, and sex in Second Life in particular, is no different from any other online recreational activity. It's healthy in moderation, but it's harmful if it becomes an obsession that excludes real-life activity, or if you deceive or otherwise hurt the people closest to you.
Author William Gibson:
INTERVIEW: But do you think that people would have sex neuroelectronically if they could?
GIBSON: Absolutely. People are almost trying to do it over the phone today. Phone sex didn't exist a couple of years ago, really, and it strikes me as horribly sad. They're going great guns, especially in LA. They're advertising conversation lines on television all the time.
Author Violet Blue on a demonstration of commercial teledildonics:
"I've never had sex with a girl I don't know," she says. "But being in front of everyone is the most nerve-racking. When I go to sex parties, I usually just sip wine or beer and watch. I'm total voyeur. I've never done a sex act in front of an audience. And I'm definitely not taking my clothes off!"
Plano psychologist Maryanne Watson, 2007:
"The main problem I have with this virtual reality gaming, is that it interferes with supportive relationships."
Dr. Adel al-Shagabi, a sociology Professor at Sana?a University, Yemen, 2007:
"If the contents of the game shows violence and sex, the negative effects will be damaging to behavior and the instincts of children and young people"
Asher Meir, Journalist, Jeruselem Post, 2007:
'For years, news media have been reporting about the worrisome phenomenon of "virtual affairs" - people who have prolonged intimacy over the Internet. Sometimes the other side is a kind of "pen pal" whose true identity is known. With increasing frequency, it is a fantasy character who achieves intimacy with another fantasy character. The participants generally view these parallel relationships as harmless, but real-life spouses (male and female) do not always agree and these affairs have been implicated in a large number of divorces.'
Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist and author of "The Power of Two: Secrets to a Strong and Loving Marriage"
"Whether it's an emotional affair with no sexual contact, an e-mail relationship or a virtual-reality relationship, they're all different forms of the same phenomenon"
Nick Yee, Noted MMO Researcher
"Nobody is really sure how people perceive online relationships or when they are cheating,"
"Users say they feel like they really get to know the person by getting to know them in a virtual environment. In the physical world, if you have access to great makeup and stylish clothes [that] has a lot to do with how much money you have and what your social status is. The thing in Second Life is that you can buy that body with a click of the button."
James Hughes, a futurist philosopher and author at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
?Fifteen, 20 years from now, relationships online are going to be increasingly realistic.?