Immersionism and Augmentationism Revisited

Later on, this class of users became labeled as “Augmentationists”. Obviously, again, there are lots of gradations — it’s not a black/white definition, and there are no pure Immersionists or pure Augmentationists. In fact, my hardest decision was to start doing RL work in SL — where, exactly, would be the separation line? When sending out emails to partners, colleagues, and proposals to customers, I sign them with my “pen name” (even many of my colleagues call me “Gwyn” on the phone 🙂 ). But obviously when meeting “in the flesh” (which sometimes is necessary) things are different. Sure, there is a continuum between my pseudonym and my flesh-avatar on the physical world, but where exactly does “Gwyn” stop being a “citizen of the metaverse” and becomes a “citizen of Planet Earth”? Put into other words, when I send out an email to a real company and sign it as Gwyneth Llewelyn, am I being an Immersionist or an Augmentist? It’s tough to draw the line when people cross both worlds, and have bonds and ties to both.

Why, then, the debate? Well, the Internet, as most of you know, exists thanks to a common set of protocols, globally collected on guidelines and rules called “RFCs”. There are RFCs to describe how email, the Web, or DNS works. Most are technical. A few are social — RFC1855, for instance, defines the rules for participation on online communities — Netiquette. And part of Netiquette says disturbing things like:

Don’t badger other users for personal information such as sex, age, or location. […]

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