About Pepijn Uitterhoeve I'm Pepijn, a veteran Utopia player (and gamer in general).
I intend to write my master thesis on Utopia, and focus mainly on the cooperative aspects.
While I do not want to take this dominant view of RL communication versus online communication head on, I do want to speak in the defense of the latter. Logfiles and message histories preserve our conversations .
Rather than simply being an inferior way of communicating, I’d like to point out some specific advantages of IM communication which may or may not be obvious. In the old days, ICQ used to give you little text boxes into which you typed a message, which would be sent off and disappear from your screen. When your online conversation partner gives you shit about something you supposedly have said, of which you are sure you haven’t, all you have to do is locate the appropriate logfile and present him or her with the cold hard evidence.
You can ‘get to know’ someone from behind the safety of a screen.
But a recent study by the University of South Florida suggests that – while a short period of messaging is fine – we actually shouldn’t wait too long to arrange a meeting.
Nearly 75 percent of victims who met offenders face-to-face did so more than once.
Many people cheat online because it offers a thrill from wrongdoing without the potential pressure or guilt from an in-person encounter.
They can convince themselves that if nothing physical ever happens, it’s not really cheating.
I think this trend has been going on ever since television addiction became a social issue, of people ‘wasting their time’ on their own as opposed to being socially active.
It is the reigning (conservative) way of viewing human contact, to a point that everyone can’t feel but a little guilty or ashamed that, when asked where you were last saturday night, you have to answer “behind the computer”.