Will The Voice Issue Be Ever Solved?

Institute for Ethics and Emerging TechnologiesIn “Life 2.0: Augmentationists in Second Life and beyond“, Giulio Prisco writes on the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies’ blog about Second Life’s social changes due to the introduction of voice. The discussion went through the way immersionists disdain the use of voice as a too disruptive technology in our virtual world, while augmentationists claim the right to use whatever technologies they please, while being tolerant towards others that are unwilling to use a certain technology.

Giulio’s argumentation, while more open-minded than most augmentationists, claims that in essence immersionism is a lifestyle choice of a group of role-players, and that augmentationism, as an “alternate” lifestyle, should have the right to peacefully co-exist — while obviously criticising the lack of tolerance of immersionists in “trying to remove voice from the augmentationists”.

I think that his crucial highlight of the issue can be summarised in the following excerpt:

Unfortunately, immersionists have a very valid point when they argue that, with voice and more augmentationist options becoming available (such as the possibility to paste a realtime webcam feed onto an avatar face and body, that may well become available in one or two years), most users of Second Life will become augmantationists and this will effectively discriminate against immersionists and push them into a second class role. They will be able to join immersionist communities where voice and webcam feeds are banned, but will be effectively cut from interacting with most other users.

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