The topic of discussion this week referred to the invention of the telegraph, and how it facilitated communication on a global scale which was then related to cyberspace today. While this was fascinating as I didn’t know the internet’s history, I was particularly interested in Lawrence Lessig’s text “Four Puzzles from Cyberspace” about virtual communities and how people may have different identities in a face-to-face vs. an online setting. One example given (“Jake’s Communities”) was of a man who wrote stories online about sexual violence, but was a university student from a prestigious institution in life – is his online behaviour cause for concern then, given his real world behaviour?
Initially I said yes, but in reflection I play several videogames which encourage immorality or illegality and I would never do such things outside the digital world. I still find I judge the man in the story more harshly than I judge myself, perhaps because I find the traceable link between hating women and writing the violent stories as well as threatening to reenact the stories the problem. After all, I wouldn’t ordinarily be afraid of an author who wrote horror novels, and if I took my friends’ gaming habits for truth I’d be in a lot of trouble!
(Made on http://imgur.com/)
Bonus: I was going to reference The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion’s “Stop right there criminal scum!” line for my required meme but discovered I’d been beaten to it with this much better image, so I thought I’d add it as a bonus as it fits with the gaming theme!
Full article reference:
Lessig, L 2006, Four Puzzles from Cyberspace, L Lessig Code version, 2.0, https://www.socialtext.net/codev2/four_puzzles_from_cyberspace