Other Cultures in Second Life

cultureThe internet and virtual worlds have brought the people of planet earth a whole lot closer. As a child, I never dreamed I’d be sitting in a virtual reality with people from other continents – but that has become the norm.

I find it interesting that nationality can play a part in how we relate to each other, but not as much as character, personal interests, taste, and the type of humour we have.

The cliche “birds of a feather flock together” is mostly true, and we generally gravitate toward others who share things in common with us. Those into music tend to find others who share that passion and like similar things. This doesn’t mean we dislike people who are different from us, it just means we feel the most comfortable being around “our birds.”

Exposure to other cultures and people with different tastes is a good thing, though. It’s educational. I’ve learned more from people in Second Life the last few years than I have from books or watching television.

I am grateful for Second Life, that I can meet people who live in different parts of the world, that I can encounter those who prefer different clothes and have different opinions of beauty. I’ve actually grown to like things I wouldn’t have given a chance before, such as certain styles of music. Of course, I’ve found things I dislike too, but that’s still part of learning.

Has Second Life helped you relate to others from different cultures or backgrounds? Have you learned anything you wouldn’t have known if not for SL? I could make a huge list. What about you?

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  1. SL has helped me a lot in the sense of recognizing the other whoever they are. I was a greeter for new residents a while ago and that taught me patience and understanding that not all of us are equal. People with different cultural, social, psychological , cognitive even with neuromotor backgrounds come to SL.
    Once I was greeting and a new resident rezzed and while we were chatting , she told me she had Down’s syndrom. Being an educator in RL, my alerts went off. We can also find very interesting cases in the web in which SL has helped people with motor deficiencies, they manage to socialize.
    I have detached a bit of my own culture and tried to understand others’ , an interesting experience since my culture and language is completely different to the one I am inmersed in. Nevertheless, you can also find not so good experiences as this is a world where humans interact. Human beings with virtues and flaws. Despite these flaws I have found,I wouldn’t change my SL.

  2. I shall soon be celebrating my 8th rez day in SL… and I can honestly say that even now I learn new things almost every day about SL and also the people who inhabit it!

    It is a huge learning curve for most of us – so many different aspects of people condensed into a virtual world where we have to depend on senses other than those we would in our usual “reality”…

    Yes, there is good and bad – and indifferent – in SL just as in RL, but it is also a door and window through which people can experience an immense range of things that they may not be able to do in RL for any number of reasons… For many it is an introduction to a vast and varied interactive social life, with all of the skills and etiquette that entails… I have known many who are physically and/or mentally disabled, clinically depressives, housebound in RL, live in remote areas, and other such restrictions that life can impose, and SL has given them a new lease of life! Of course SL can be harsh for those not so well equipped to deal with the darker side of SL, but even in this there are life lessons and skills to be learned.

    Thank you to everyone – past, present and future – who have been part of my SL and have made it a most amazing and gratifying experience 🙂

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