I remember back in 1999 I tried becoming a member of The Well. I had to list a few things that interested me and wanted to ‘discuss’ – being a young student who had just been introduced to new ways of thinking, I registered that I was interested in conspiracy theories. I wanted to register something that I could get into heavy discussions about because that’s what The Well is all about – discussions – and I thought that I had plenty to say about the subject. Boy was I wrong! I got a few messages inviting me to join discussions and they were all filled with dreadful warning language like “You better be interested and not one of those fools who just sit and discuss conspiracy theories for fun!”. I never did join any of those discussion groups, they were all just a tad too serious for me and I ended up not renewing my The Well subscription because I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to talk about. Everyone was so extremely serious about their subjects of interest and I was just there trying desperately to become a member of an online community and I felt like a fool because there was not one particular subject I felt qualified enough to be a part of.
I’m extremely tired at writing moment, but I couldn’t sleep because my head is just filled with thoughts that I just need to get out! So please excuse me for not linking to smart people – this is just me!
I kinda freaked out today, when I realised that my whole thesis is about reputation! It’s everywhere – and I wasn’t aware of it! It really scared the bejeebles out of me! When discussing the ontological state and identity of the avatar, reputation is essential. When discussing ownership and the attachment to virtual gaming goods, reputation is important. I had an interesting conversation with a friend who’s a WoW’er a while back (may have blogged about it actually) and he had been playing Oblivion for a while, which he thought was really cool but he missed the ‘bragging’ that WoW gave him. There he could show off the gains and riches from all his labor, he couldn’t do that with a single player game. And I think this is a perfect example of why players become so attached to their virtual property.