Offline in the Afterlife: An Essay by Extropia DaSilva

So what is so strange about that? It is the fact that Gwyn acted as if I still existed, even though a crucial part of the system that allows me to be in SL had broken down. Since I am a digital person (a character that exists exclusively online, puppeteered by someone else in RL) how can I be ‘well and healthy’ if my primary cannot login to SL? Surely I no longer exist?


Tom Boellstorff once commented, “in SL, a resident could in theory be said to ‘die’ every time they logged out of the SL program”. Nobody, as far as I know, actually thinks that is the case. There are several reasons why this is so. Firstly, digital selves are collaboratively constructed. In a play, the audience is simply a part of the performance, and the distinction between ‘the act’ and ‘the audience’ is even more blurred in an online world like SL.

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