Monday, February 13, 2012

Online and Offline Worlds

Dear T.L. Taylor,

It was rather interesting to read your article “Finding New Worlds from Play between Worlds”.  Prior to reading this article, I always believed there was a boundary between online and offline identity that could never be crossed.  However, my perspective changed early on in your article when you stated that peoples name-tags at the EverQuest Convention were the ones used in the online gaming world.  From the start of the convention it seems like peoples online identities were already being portrayed in the real world.  Individuals were not afraid to carry on their same experiences in the online world into the offline one.  I completely agree with your statement that, “People are very adept at moving back and forth between on- and offline spaces and relationships, even while being ambivalent or unsure of how to frame the experience online life produces.”  Being able to have an online identity allows people to explore who they are.  By doing this, it enables them to bring that identity into the real world.  Although they may be unsure how to do so, by interacting with people in an online world it gives them confidence to bring out the same personality traits into the real world.  

People take their online lives as serious as their offline ones.  I agree with you when you say that both of these spheres overlap and the importance is the same for both.  For example, an online friend can be just as important to someone as a friend they see face-to-face every day.  Even though an individual may never see their friend in an offline setting, if they are carrying the same traits and experiences into their online world, it goes to show that online friends like them for who they are.  Again, I appreciated reading your article as it gave me a lot of insight of the importance in offline identities.  I personally thought there was never an overlap between offline and online worlds.  However, my insight has changed drastically and I believe being the same person in both worlds is essential to bringing out the best in an individual. 

Steve Schreck

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