PostHeaderIcon Second Life Residents as Mere Bugs?

I don't watch television. Well, I watch DVDs and podcasts on my Apple TV and other prerecorded stuff, but I just don't find myself attracted to commercial broadcast productions. The last really great show I found myself addicted to is the original C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation) which features the characters of Grissom, Willows, Brown, Stokes, Sidle and all the rest.

In the show, the character of Gil Grissom is an entomologist, a study of zoology concerning insects. When I ran across a detailed summary of book called "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human" , I couldn't help but to read it in depth (the summary, not the book.)

My first chuckling thought is that Anthropologists and Entomologists are likewise disciplines, just different species. There are detailed summaries on each chapter of the book.

I really doubt the content of this book would be 'over my head' but I do suspect it could put me to sleep rather quickly, and although there is a Kindle edition (which is now the only version of books I will purchase from anywhere,) it's too pricey to even consider as far as I'm concerned (99% of all Kindle editions are $9.99 or less). However, I found the summaries mesmerizing and rather insightful (paragraph breaks are mine for readability):

Chapter 5. Personhood, pp. 118-150

Aim of chapter is to investigate ‘everyday senses of virtual personhood’ in SL. Re: life course (Giddens), what is SL course? Many residents had more than one account so actual and SL selves not necessarily coterminous.

However, time constraints in having several avatars – time resists virtualisation far better than space. Unlike game worlds, no skill levels here, although newbies easily recognisable for lack of practical skills.

Changes in actual life could impact on SL, e.g. family member falling ill.  Leaving SL could be painful, ‘charted on blogs and commemorated with farewell parties’. SL embodiment not a simulation of real life: residents experienced ‘corporeal immediacy’. Contrast between Haraway’s cyborg corporeality (prosthetic continuity human-machine) and that of SL’s homo cyber (actual-virtual gap). Race also played a part, but often tacitly: default avatar race was white.

[From Summary of Boellstorff (2008), Coming of Age in Second Life]

So, looking upon this, are Second Life 'residents' amounting to mere bugs?

"Coming of Age in Second Life:
An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human"
(Tom Boellstorf

Hardcover Version

Amazon Kindle Version

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