“Listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door. Let’s go”-E.E Cummings.
INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS ‘NORMAL’ ANYWAY?
In online worlds the everyday concerns that define real life coexist with experiences that can only be described as ‘surreal’. It is fairly safe to say that if you spend long enough exploring such worlds, sooner or later you will find yourself asking, ‘what is normal’?
Now, at this point it may seem like this essay is going to be a social commentary, railing against prejudice and the subtle ways in which fashion and commercialism shapes our minds. Actually, this introduction has other concerns. What we need to look at here is an older set of prejudices, those hardwired into the brains of animals long before the human race evolved. In the prequel to this essay (‘Ctrl-Q: Quantum Time’) I explained that ‘it appears as though imagination ocurrs in the mind, Second Life® exists on the screen and RL is out there in physical space. But really, both SL and RL (in the form in which we perceive them, at least) exist where imagination does – in the mind’.| | | Next → |