It's Your Game

It's Your Game
Architecture and Vice

Dave Thomas | 2 Aug 2005 12:03
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And that's where I want to get off this ride. Because if you want to understand Second Life, look at punk rock. It's the closest thing in media that's not Second Life to what Second Life is. That's because both punk and SL are about freedom. Punk fetishizes the freedom to do anything - Anarchy! Second Life allows the freedom to fetishize anything. SL players, being people, have taken that as a sacred cause.

Between the players pretending to be Star Wars characters, players pretending to be strippers, players pretending to be Iron Man, and players pretending to be Snoopy, you'll find that people want to be everything. In the medium that happily pretends to be anything, the Second Life community finds its voice. And it's all so very, very punk.

Sure, Second Life is nothing but architecture and vice. I suspect that's about all anything is when stripped of the basic need to feed, clothe, and shelter yourself. Sex is one of the ways we give into that desire for wild abandon and architecture is all about the place that it can happen.

Disneyland remains the classical music of fantasy. We appreciate the depth of the structural elegance and the masterful composition. But we observe it from our seats in the audience. And when the lights go down, toe-tapping is strongly discouraged. You don't mess with the classics. That's what makes them classic, ya know?

In the punk rock of Second Life, fantasy finds it most urgent voice - this game is a boiling mosh pit of desire. And the players are punks merrily bloodying each other in a real time orgy of self-actualization - building, pretending, fornicating, fixing the world and feeling alive.

So, to raise a question that you may or may not have at this point, but one I'm sure you'll find interesting anyway: Would I rather have sex in Disneyland or play Second Life?

To me the answer is all very "Waiting for Godot." Sure, it would be fun to configure Disneyland. But who gets to do that? While I'm waiting, I can spin the entire solar system around the knotted finger of my troll hand while riding a flying carpet with the girl I love.

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