Illustration Danny Roberts
Extrapolating on the Concept of Autopoiesis
Diaphanous Crêpe de Soie
Have you ever wondered (and I am sure you have) why your physical self seems to feel everything that happens to your Avatar? Besides the obvious fact that your RL self is the heart and soul of your Avi it seems that our human nervous system cannot distinguish between virtual and non-virtual realities. According to Chilean Scientist and Philosopher, Humberto Maturana, who along with Francisco Varela coined the term Autopoiesis, Virtual Realities have changed the condition of our human existence as we have included them in our way of living. They have the power to actually effect transformation in relation to the involvement in which we live them and experience emotions within our psychic spaces.
Albeit free from the restraints of the regular laws of physics, 3D technology in virtual environments is rapidly changing and as it does it will become even more difficult for our brains to distinguish between VR and that which we have been programmed to call RL. This complexity will require a strong sense of self in order to stay grounded so that the only fractured identify we experience is in our roleplaying and Alts (if we have them) and not on our basic selves.
All this is especially true since Virtual Worlds act as an attractor of complex, at times chaotic individuals who, unburdened by the limits imposed by their inhibitions or society, display any number of extreme behaviors. Yes, there can actually be a scientific explanation for the proliferation of wackos in this part of our universe, which I admit can sometimes make your life a lot of fun when and if they succeed at not causing grief or if you succeed at staying out of harms way.
The Perfect Couture Of Anubis Style
Wearing Heaven On The Wrist
In spite of all the freedom that is there for us to experience in VR, in praxis, RL socially moronic restraints still exist. Please don´t get me wrong, I am all for correctness and values. But social conventions in a VR environment can easily turn to repression if not outward puritanism and hypocrisy.
I was banned last year from the famous Frank´s Elite Club for wearing clothing that suggested rather than revealed. I was always asked to change whenever I went there even though I did not show anything improper. Surrounded by other Avis with actual private body parts on partial display, I complaint as to why they were targeting me which caused the owner to ban me for good even though I had a paid membership. Then recently at another place, in the moment I arrived I was asked to change. The dress I wore was an imaginative teaser from Boudoir (Vitabela Dubrovna is an SL design genious. ) It did not show any private part skin. What it did do was steer the imagination. Knowing I would be banned again if I refused, I promptly changed into a demure, diaphanous creation. A simple and tastefull dress. It looked innocent enough in its blushed color and initially did not provoque any naughty thoughts. Yet if you looked closely it had the upper part of my body in display with its very transparent décolletage. I did it to test my point. That even here in VR, it does not really matter if you are. All that maters is that you look the part. In fact, the accepted dress showed more than the one frowned upon. That´s rich !
I was thanked and told on local chat that I looked great … Are you sure? I asked? Ohhhh yes, answered the Manager in Charge, you are still beautiful. Beautiful maybe, but my parts are now showing whereas before they were not, I thought to myself.
Why would such a conventionality apply in VR to such an extent that suggestion gets confused with breaching guidelines? When variety in dressing has to be oriented towards fulfilling people´s expectations to such a degree it makes room for un-creativity in fashion design. This inclusion of multiple constraints in virtual awareness however does not keep others from totally unleashing their full potential. The result of these restraints is a complex online environment system that is subject to its own autopoiesis and which could benefit from learning to modify itself according to the external input that they are subjected to.
Until Next Week. xoxo!
VR Writer, Photographer, Model & Stylist
InWorld Magazine / InWorld Models