Relationships VR style
An op ed piece? It has been ages.
But serendipity reigns and I have something on my mind.
Relationships. Tricky at best under normal circumstances. What happens when they move into VR?
Some of you undoubtedly have a history with virtual relationships, but I had not. And the ball drops and 2015 begins. Well hey.
It seems to me that there are two distinct kinds of VR relationships -- and likely many gray areas between them. There are the pretty much RL ones where folks know a lot about each other, chat and talk and email about life and times and histories and philosophy --
And then there are the purely VR relationships where it is only our visions of our avatars that come into play.
I have been in both.
In the RL "relationship" you (in theory) have a vision of the person you are connected too. True, it may be a fake vision, but over time things seem to leak through. Empty spaces get filled with information; you get a better idea of who you are involved with.
In the purely VR relationship, it is more about our fantasy personas. Who we believe we are in VR. Now, honestly -- I think that is one part of who we REALLY are. If you have spent a lot of time in VR then you definitely have a strong tie to your avatar. You and she (or he) are one -- in many senses of the term.
It is difficult at times to differentiate between the VR and VR/RL relationships. The edges blur and life gets a bit unsteady. We seldom really know who we are communicating with on the other side of that IM window. Male, female, old, young -- they may share our belief system or not. And in the end, I think that is what is truly important.
In my mind, relationships -- both friendly and sexual -- are about energy and the transference of that commodity. Does it really matter who is on the other side of the screen if your beliefs are in alignment? If you can communicate freely and honestly?
I am not sure it does.
I have friends that I know a lot about and ones that I know little about. I make it a policy to NEVER ASK. Over time, the parts of the puzzle are often filled in -- that, or they are very good at keeping their backstory straight and if that is the case then kudos to them.
Relationships are often difficult and sometimes tenuous in all worlds. If you find one that works for you -- then hold onto it!
Details, in the final analysis, don't matter all that much.