“We see SL as a valuable space in which to study gender and sexuality in cyberspace, because unlike traditional forms of print, film, or television media (hereafter, traditional media), SL users are primarily responsible for the content,” (Brookey and Cannon, 146).  Sex and sexual orientation have always been two topics that come up frequently in life.  They are both the driving force for young people trying to find love.  In the real world, sex and sexual orientation is approached in many different ways, simply because every person thinks of the two topics differently.  The difference between these two topics in the real world vs. something like Second Life, is the fact that users of the MMORPG games can remain anonymous.

Image 

“As these studies indicate, cyberspace is thought to liberate the subject from the embodied constraints of the real world,” (Brookey and Cannon, 148).  Programs like Second Life give users the ability to portray themselves differently from what they are in the real world.  While the authors say it is quite uncommon, some people change their genders on Second Life, just to experience what it would be like to be the opposite gender, where nobody would be able to judge them.  This is why Second Life has places where people within the LGBT community can go and feel comfortable around other users who share these similarities.  While viewed by some in the outside world as strange, these locations in Second Life give people the opportunity to explore different things and find out about who they really are.  The article discusses that there are a large number of individuals who do this, and I am not surprised.

The fact of the matter is, gay culture is still not globally accepted in the world we live in today.  Members of the LGBT community may have a hard time finding acceptance in the communities that they live in.  A program like Second Life gives people like this the opportunity to feel comfortable with who they are.  I think that is one of the best things that Second Life can offer someone.  If a person feels safe in a community, whether it is in the real world or on the computer, then they should by all means explore these communities.

 

Advertisements