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Group Discussion Sharing

2009 April 6
by Cat Durante

Me, Eva and Madge immediately started our conversation with the question of whether or not having a relationship (we mostly spoke of sexual relationships) online in second life or by any other online medium can be considered an infidelity by a person in a real-life relationship. Madge and I immediately said yes. But Eva said no. We then discussed our own definitions of cheating, whether or not emotional attachment is cheating or if just a violation of the physical aspect of a relationship is cheating. Madge and I both felt that if someone is emotionally attached to another online member in that confidential information is shared with the online partner rather than the life-lover, then that someone can be considered a cheater. Eva however took a slightly different approach to the subject of online relationships. She agreed that an emotional attachment to someone else constitutes an infidelity but she herself supports polygamous relationships and the honesty that comes with sharing that information with the other person who may or may not be in other relationships as well. As long as the individual shares that online relationship with their real-life partner, then the relationship should not be considered cheating even if the person is emotionally attached to the cyber-partner since emotional investment goes into every relationship that a multi-relationship person engages in.

Our conversation then led to MUD which was very confusing to us. We were not familiar with the concept nor the style in which we should present ourselves in this cyber-world so we didn’t explicitly write out our descriptions but gave a label as to what we would be. Eva would be a sexy female vampire, Madge would be a female ninja and I would be a female bounty hunter. We all then realized that we had all used the word “female” to describe us, as if we wouldn’t be complete without it even in the computer realm. Our imaginations overtook us for this question and we really didn’t explain as to why we went so extreme in our characters but it’s a good thing to consider in class on Wednesday.

Just an addition: Eva told us that she and Hillary had spent a summer creating a virtual Bryn Mawr campus in Second Life and that the attention to detail is quite exquisite. I think the class should see our campus represented virtually on Wednesday.