Edited TPR seminar


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some of the slides used in the online identity seminar I did on real people, real feelings.

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Edited TPR seminar

  1. 1. Virtual Worlds:Real People,Real Feelings Kate Boardman, TPR Seminar January 21st, 2010
  2. 2. What might go wrong Stuck at ‘it’s not real’ Discussing of examples Gap between VWs and you Can’t make the connections No theological reflection  Too fast/slow, bad timing Supposed to be Chance to open eyes Bit more provocative More than if just about online church Hopefully is… A chance to reflect a bit theologically on this ‘reality’ Isn’t really… Online church or Online communion …but we might get there Hopefully is… An intro to thinking about the online environment Opportunity to think about identity
  3. 3. Themes
  4. 4. Themes Personhood/Identity “We are ourselves only through relation to others” Narrative Who you are in a virtual world is a part of you, one of the strands that makes up your narrative/story. How does God’s narrative play out in a virtual world? Trinity “Deep self” and a plurality of “local selves”
  5. 5. Personhood & ‘Self’ [self] is not something one has, but one is and does Deep ‘self’ is therefore to be conceived of as a unity of or behind the unities represented by a plurality of local ‘selves’
  6. 6. How many faces do you have/show? Telephone voice At work With the children In church With strangers in the street At a football match…
  7. 7. Are these visually differentiated? Work Home With the children Church Football… All masks, identities, personas, avatars… All you
  8. 8. Trinity McFadyen: same but different; same nature, separate persons Moltmann: particular individual nature is determined in their relationship to one another Being a person in this respect means existing-in-relationship; sense of oneself as a subject, a person, is not individually but socially acquired
  9. 9. Process
  10. 10. Method Option: narrative as theme, as method many stories – individual, unheard, communities Option: debate online is good, creative, empowering online is bad, dangerous, addictive, wrong
  11. 11. Pastoral Cycle-ish
  12. 12. Questions for Seminar What is real [online]? How do we feel about/how does the tension play out between ‘real’ / not ‘real’? How do we feel about stepping into a virtual world to be someone ‘else’? “It’s all ‘real’…” Is only ‘real’ good and is ‘not real’ bad?
  13. 13. Questions for Seminar Think about our narratives and our trinitarian selves – online is real so what impact on our stories and God’s story? What are the actions we might wish to take in the light of this, whether (or even because) online may be ‘good’ and ‘bad’, but both are real…
  14. 14. What’s a Virtual World?
  15. 15. What’s an avatar?
  16. 16. Definition Some you identify with more than others Some aren’t you Some are you – look like you Some are you – don’t look like you Some aren’t you – a you’re playing a role
  17. 17. Is it real?
  18. 18. Is it real? “Each world while it is attended to is real in its own fashion” Wm James, The Principles of Psychology, 1890
  19. 19. Is any of it real? Worlds Still there when you leave Created (art) Showcase of ingenuity, commitment, imagination People “as soon as you step into a VW you become someone else” …but it’s still you ‘driving the machine’
  20. 20. I, Avatar …the avatar […] a machine that is attached to the psychology of its user. From within that machine the driver can peek out, squinting through alien eyes, and find a new world. And, oddly, the driver can also look into himself, as if gazing into his navel, and find a new landscape inside as well. Meadows
  21. 21. Typical Conversation But it’s NOT real! You say that now, just wait… IT’S NOT REAL Yeah, whatever… So, er, what happens when I log off, can I go somewhere safe first? Why? It’s not real, you know…
  22. 22. Avatar Identity
  23. 23. Which is not ok?
  24. 24. To carry forward: Good and bad of transparency Are you/we who you/we say you/we are? How do we/you know? Information sharing – deliberate or accidental Practical
  25. 25. To carry forward: How do we present ourselves and how is that seen? What different strands of your personal narrative do you display online (looks or behaviour) How many ‘you’s / faces of ‘you’ are there? Can you see the potential and the pitfalls? Theological
  26. 26. Any identity questions?
  27. 27. Online Relationships
  28. 28. Embodiment Persons and their communication, whilst founded on a physical embodiment are primarily social. Whilst they always exist in physical space-time, the physical locating grid is insufficient to coordinate them as social realities, as contributors and contributions to a social discourse
  29. 29. Is it real? Psychologically, you are your avatar Shared experiences create a sense of reality “So a virtual glass of wine above a virtual ocean shared with an avatar is as important to us, psychologically and socially, as a real glass of wine on a real cliff with a real friend.” Meadows
  30. 30. Is it real? Psychologically, you are your avatar Shared experiences create a sense of reality “So a virtual glass of wine above a virtual ocean shared with an avatar is as important to us, psychologically and socially, as a real glass of wine on a real cliff with a real friend.” Meadows
  31. 31. To carry forward: Valuing the person – even if you don’t see them embodied before you ‘for real’ Trust, honesty and integrity – values in RL and SL relationships – when is that line crossed That feelings are always real Practical
  32. 32. Online Church
  33. 33. Ministerial Outcomes
  34. 34. Learning Outcome An understanding of the multiplicity of selves (online and in ‘real’ life) – that they are (for most people) all ‘real’, merely different facets of their personality which appear in different contexts.
  35. 35. Learning Outcome That virtual worlds give us the chance to hear stories we might not usually hear – from the disabled, from the painfully shy, who are enabled to show usually hidden sides of their personalities, and to virtually experience many things that we might not be able to do in real life.
  36. 36. Learning Outcome The shadow side – a sense of truth and reality, of the good and bad sides of fantasy. This may be to make us think about the background to adults engaging in relationships online, or how to let young people use technology to explore whilst staying safe
  37. 37. Actions Cyber safety, cyber bullying – guidelines Positive engagement with social networks Explore virtual worlds together
  38. 38. Actions Multiplicity of selves Juggling these selves Maintaining our relationships Explore opportunities to engage in these realities