Week 9 Discussion Questions

Who Killed Miss Norway?

What did you find most surprising about the story of Miss Norway? Do you think Karen is a man, or Karen is Trine, or Karen is Karen?

Is it “just a game” if it involves real people, real lives, and real conversations?

Can anyone operate in the virtual world with a true sense of reality, if stories like this happen all the time?

What do you think of the notion of people “becoming real” through means of online gaming? Even if people regard them as real, have they truly achieved their wish?

Is there a way to improve the reality of these games, or is it an inevitable truth that there will always be someone lying about who they are?

Connecting in a wired world:

The movie introduces various definitions of community. What do you think community is, and do you think it can truly be achieved through online means? What is lost or gained as compared with “real life” community?

Is virtual reality a healthy means of escape and development of sense of self separate from reality?

In regard to the online BDSM relationship, do you think it’s healthy to have “intimate” relationships online but not in person? What is it about the Internet that makes it easier to develop relationships than in real life?

The Christian man says “the Internet isn’t going to fix everything. People are still going to need to be with other people.” Do you agree or disagree?

Living Digitally:

“But I have experimented quite a bit, and the one thing that I’ve found most interesting is that people treat you based on how you present yourself, and, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that *you* change depending on how you present yourself [12].” Thoughts?

Do you think there’s a way to make online gaming more Real? Does it need to be?

What does the chapter say about special groups of avatars? Does this distinction happen elsewhere on the Internet?

When it says that avatars “switch heads,” what costs/benefits are there to being online/offline for this?

What does it say about humanity that through games we yearn for intimacy, friendship, relationships, and even sex? Is this sort of “living out” of identity and relationships something only for the relationally deprived (IRL), or is it for everyone?

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