Remember the human being…

So does it mean that one should only be allowed to have “RL avatars”? This issue has been brought up over and over again. It is, like everything else, a fallacy. A RL avatar does not say anything about the person behind it. It just gives a first impression, nothing else — it’s not because you have a “RL avatar” that you’ll be trusted more. Imagine that Al Capone had joined SL with a RL avatar — would he be less of a crook? Of course not. As said, the image you present to others can influence the first impression — but it never lasts long. Your “true self” — your good and bad sides, your balance between rational and emotional thought, your altruism and egotism, all these facets of your soul — will shine through, in bright colours, sooner or later. You can’t avoid it — even if you think that “later” may mean several years 🙂 As the old saying goes, “you can fool some people all the time, or fool all people for some time, but you can’t fool all people all the time”. This is true in RL, and as true in SL as well — although so many pretend otherwise!

There is no intention of sounding condescending here. Over twenty years ago, a rather large group of people wrote articles and texts on “codes of conduct” for online communications — the Netiquette rules. And they had some few basic rules of common sense:

The Golden Rule — Would you say it to the person’s face?
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