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Monday, October 1, 2012

Drama - The Good The bad And The Necessary? Jaded Exonar Reporting....

Even the most recent of SL residents can’t escape the reality we label ‘drama’ – But what is it, and why is it there at all? Perhaps most importantly, can we really avoid it?

Second Life is saturated with this phenomenon of ‘drama’,and at times it seems impossible to avoid, even without any personal involvement at all! Confused? I used to be. I can remember very clearly bobbing through a welcome area as a noob, all dressed in my very best (and only) pink dotty dress, my hair tied neatly back into a pony tail, fresh pale skin blinding people in the sunlight. The virtual world was opening up before me, and there it was. BAM. A couple were shouting in Local Chat, and everyone around me slowly began taking sides. That was the moment I began to hobble swiftly and uncomfortably down the road I still try to walk today – The one that leads away from the problem. Has this always worked? In a word, no. But why?
Despite how clearly we hear the age old statement, ‘Second Life is not a game’, it often takes many a long year for most of us to really understand what this might mean for us personally. I believe it is a‘community’, originally termed from ‘common’ and ‘unity’. This is, in my opinion, the underlying issue. We do not all share common quests, goals, achievement points and so on. It is a reflection of our reality. Thousands upon thousands of people all with their own lives, relationships, aims and purpose – Just as in ‘real life’, we compete; for real jobs, for real money, for real businesses, real customers, real artwork, even for real love. So many elements often are ‘real’, and so, therefore, are emotions. If we remember this simple fact, most needless drama can be successfully avoided. Most. There are always a few times where drama is beyond reason, perhaps even enjoyed by the people behind it, and fortunately there are some tell tale signs we can look for.

Profile:- You may have noticed an aggressive sounding pick. Key phrases could include, ‘Stay away from my family’, ‘Hurt xyz and I’ll mess you up’, or even professions against drama, ‘Bring drama to me and I’ll report you’, or ‘Drama Queens will get what’s coming’. Possibly signs of someone trying to avoid conflict, but in my experience it’s usually a problem waiting to erupt.

Gossip:-Sometimes you can hear a grudge brewing, just waiting to be fought over. It could be about designs, money, family, anything – If someone is hurt and angry, and can’t move away from the topic, there’s likely to be a problem.

Relationships:- A genuine relationship is a private and personal affair, something we may share with our friends and family – But if you find someone aggressively defending their relationship to every avatar on the block, or passing around personal details or photos of an ex, then yes, unfortunately, drama is often a heartbeat away.

Where there is aggression, drama usually follows. So is this the part where I tell you to walk away as I do? No. It really isn’t, and here’s the twist. I’m missing out. I don’t have an SL family, relationship, regular commitments, parties, pets or property. I chose to distance myself from that a long time ago, and let the balance lie more heavily on my hectic and slightly crazy RL. But the fact remains, I am missing out. Aggression is often from genuine feelings of hurt and pain – These are people who care very deeply about whatever is happening for them. How much you choose to involve yourself, if at all, with ‘dramatic situations’ when they occur, is completely up to you. But if you let people into your life you will experience at some time, some kind of drama. Perhaps it’s something we can avoid completely, but I question if we really should - After all, it’s only ‘needless drama’ if does not concern you or someone you care about. Forming meaningful relationships makes us better people, makes us involved in what matters to them – It’s a beautiful, and sometimes messy part of life. But it is life. Perhaps we need a certain amount of drama to keep things interesting, to make us value our ties to others, to reinforce our community. Isn’t that a perfect life?


Agent Smith, ‘The Matrix’, 1999
“Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.”


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