Thrown out of an Irish Bar (in 2nd Life)

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

I was in Second Life one day. Was I on Second Life?

I was in an Irish bar in Second Life.

Second Life is a virtual reality space,

with avatars, 3D buildings, chatrooms, and private messages.


How can a digital object be Irish?

How can a bar even be Irish?

How can a digital Irish bar be Irish

and how can it be a bar?


It is digital, in any case.

And if it is digital, can it be real?


The irish bar in second life had a DJ.

I could hear the music through my speakers.

If i wanted to message the DJ,

(himself a second life user),

I could probably request a song.


I could speak to everyone in the room

through the group chat.

All at once.

I could send a message to them all.

Every user, every avatar, every person.

I could private message them too.

I could jump in their way.


Sorry,

my avatar,

controlled by me,

could jump in their way.

I, myself, was sitting in a chair.

In my room of rooms.


If group chat is a chat room,

is a chat room a room?

Is the Irish bar in Second Life a room?

Was I in a room, in a room, in a room?


I took off my shirt.

Sorry,

my avatar,

controlled by me,

took off its shirt.

I, myself, was sitting in a chair.

In my room of rooms.


In an Irish bar in New York City,

for example,

I could imagine if one took off their shirt,

they would be told to put it back on,

or to leave.


I thought, however,

that second life

would be different,

and that digital,

non-real shirts

could be taken off.


A message appeared on the group chat

intended for me

from the administrator.

The message said I had to put my shirt back on,

or I would be kicked out.


I was thrown out of an Irish bar in Second Life.


From David Chalmers* paper on virtual reality, I learned there are two positions in regards to the reality of virtual reality: virtual realism, or virtual irrealism. Virtual realism posits that digital objects, although digital are real. Virtual irrealism posits that digital objects are illusory. Either the digital world is real or not.


It all depends on what your definitions are. Does your definition of real include space for a virtual space? Chalmers argues that digital objects, although real, are real in that they are truly digital. I was indeed kicked out of a bar. More to come on this later...


Virtual Realism

(1) Virtual objects really exist and are digital objects;

(2) Events in virtual worlds are largely digital events that really take place;

(3) Experiences in virtual reality involve non-illusory perception of a digital world;

(4) Virtual experiences of a digital world can be about as valuable as non-virtual

experiences of a non-digital world.


Virtual Irrealism

(1) Virtual objects do not really exist.

(2) Events in virtual reality do not really take place.

(3) Experiences in virtual reality are illusory.

(4) Virtual experiences are less valuable than non-virtual experiences.


*The Virtual and the Real, David Chalmers http://consc.net/papers/virtual.pdf

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