Computer gaming and in particular online gaming with games such as World of Warcraft and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace nowadays are a becoming a massive issue and are taking over millions of peoples realities the world over. Their sense of real or unreal, fact or fiction, and even in some cases right or wrong is becoming increasing blurred or warped by the illusion cast over them by their second lives that it is difficult for them to tell the difference between reality and illusion.
See reality is defined as the state or fact of being real, but we as humans have the capacity This is because online, you have greater control over who they are, what they do, etc. Whereas in real life you have little to no control what happens to you e. g. bad things, like deaths. This adds to the appeal of these “second lives” because you do have a great deal of control over who you are, what you look like, who you associate with and what you do. There is a fine line between reality and illusion and sometimes, with the help of computer technology that line can become very blurry.
This piece will allow you to delve deeper into what reality and illusion are, and the differences between them. Also to have a better grasp on what an avatar and second lives are in regards to online games and forums and also the pro’s and con’s of video gaming. A blurred sense of reality is known as an illusion and this can have detrimental effects on many aspects of one’s life. Reality can be defined as the state or fact of being real, but as humans we have the capacity to perceive or interpret our own realities in many different ways.
Some of the ways a blurred sense of reality can have negative effects on a person’s day to day life are that they can become so involved in their online persona that they call other people by their online names, lack of motivation for their real job, among other things. This was the case in Colorado, America where a 34 year old man was fired from his job as a financial planner because he was playing the online fantasy game “World of Warcraft” at work. He was so involved in his “second life” as a superhero on the game that it took over his life.
It is clear to see that a strong sense of reality is essential in order to maintain the line between reality and illusion. The lines between reality and illusion can become warped with the aid of avatars and second lives so it’s about finding a balance. An avatar is an online persona created by people for virtual reality games. The appeal of these avatars is that you can make them look however you want e. g. black, white, tall, short, fat, skinny, etc. The goal of these avatars is to boost them or progress through a game via levelling up.
So it provides the players with a sense of accomplishment when they grow a level, unlock a new accessory, get a badge, beat a boss, etc. A second life evolves when a player becomes so engrossed in their game playing that it takes over their life and becomes a new life inside their real one, and this is a danger all gamers face: a loss or blurred sense of reality. The difference between reality and illusion can sometimes be so difficult to distinguish between because the line has been blurred so badly. Often due to excessive gaming or networking, or overly motivated gamers who are obsessed with boosting their avatars.
The online fantasy game “World of Warcraft” has over 13 million players worldwide and over half of them have admitted they have an addiction in a recent online poll. This has taken its toll on them in a variety of ways including their work life, their social life, and not to mention their financial accounts, as you have to keep paying for this particular game monthly. It is all about finding a balance between work and play in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Reality all comes back to the individual person, their reality is based on their perception on the world and their previous life experiences.
There should be no duplicate realities, just like there are no two people the same. What my reality is should never be the same as what your reality is. For each person has different, albeit special, beliefs. And these beliefs should be what, over the years, shape our reality to what it is. Not what somebody else says is going on, not what everyone else is doing, but what our heart says is real. So, if they wish to blur their line between reality and illusion with hours upon hours of gaming, avatar obsessions or networking who are we to stop them, because after all, it is their reality.
Courtney from Study Moose
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