Talk:Selections from Sherry Turkle

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Questions Regarding to the Reading

What does MUD abbreviate for? -- kvicente3

It stands for Multi-User Dungeon. From what I can tell, it is kind of like the grandfather of the modern MMORPG. E.t.dale 02:48, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm... I wonder if that is an older version of saying MMO(RPG)'s or that's a more formal term.-- kvicente3

Older, much older, the MUD was an elegant game form, for a more civilized age. Afamiglietti 04:28, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. These swine wallow in their richly-textured muck to their own detriment. When I was hale and in my prime, my eyes deftly jumped from line to line of text, vast tapestries unfurling before my mind's eye. Online gaming interaction revolved about the twin spheres of imagination and clever interaction, not some base ritual of "slaughtering" "monsters" for the mere, abstract advancement in strength. There is no social hierarchy in these modern travesties but put forth by the charlatan game designers. We ought to return to a purer age. --Bstewart8 03:44, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Have any of you felt a strong connection with people you have met online, and you have pretended to be someone else?-Sri That kind of sounds like acting in the real world, yet without external consequences. - Jeff

I have felt a strong connection with people I have met during multiplayer online play.  It was more of a friendship than love with these other people.  I have also pretended to be another person from a different country because I was interested to see if I could trick people. -Ross

I have felt a strong connection towards people that I have met online. I know i have met a lot of people on facebook and I think I am slightly a different when I am texting. But i have also met a wide variety of people on X box live and I can tend to be a little mean on Xbox sometimes.

I used to play a lot of MMOs when I was in high school (I've had to cut back a lot since college started), and I was pretty close to mostly all of my guildmates. We'd always do a dungeon together, or just talk through the game's messaging system. I miss them a little bit now, but we sometimes do talk through other means, like AIM or Facebook.

I played MMOs game World of Warcraft during 3 years in US server. It was fun you can meet so many friends from different countries. There were about 8 Chinese friends from Georgia Tech we enjoyed this game together for doing raids and in the same guild. It was really fun but it takes time for playing it.

I've played my first MMO at the beginning of high school and have been playing it ever since, even at lesser degrees than before. At first, I thought friends I made online were simply "friends online" and couldn't be counted as real friends for I have never meant them. Perhaps back then I was still in that childish ideology where "if you can't see it, you can't believe it." However when my guild progressed to a forum on the Internet and a question much similar to this was asked, a guild member -- also a friend -- said that he viewed all of us as his friends regardless of meeting in person or not and that he really cared for us as seen with how he shares his loot and would later on becoming our benevolent guild leader. Lately I've been keeping in touch with some of my friends there although I don't play the game as much and they have helped me on things not related at all with the MMO we met in such as normal things: love, Internet Security, and work/school. I will say though... not everyone on the Internet can be considered a friend; there are people out there with suspicious aims. On the other hand, there are some friends out there that are really good friends, who may not always be on as life kicks in but will be there to help you out. It makes me wonder if I should meet them just like my uncle has with his WoW guild annually. --kvicente3

Kvicente3I played an MMO back in high school called Ragnarok Online, it was a Korean RPG if I recall correctly. The RPG itself was pretty meh, and the only reason I started playing was because a friend coaxed me in to it. After a while though, I found a few cool people by poking around on the server and ended up making several good friends from around the globe. I still keep in contact with them today, long after our server got shut down. I've also met a small handful of very good friends through XBOX LIVE that I later met in person (two of them I actually first met in person by coming here, we pal around regularly now). I'd definitely say, though, that the amount of friends I made through RO was much greater than the amount of friends I made through XBOX LIVE, simply because I do find that people on LIVE tend to be more rude (and more immature (doesn't necessarily mean younger, although that's the case too)). Msmith312 22:44, 26 April 2011 (UTC)Playing someone else was a large part of my childhood and young adulthood as I also played an MMO, namely, Runescape. It was not uncommon to try to scam players out items by pretending you were a female player and trying to manipulate their feelings. This is horrible, I know, but I was in middle school and everyone was doing it (poor excuse). Often times it would be successful and as soon as the other players realized that I was not who I said I was (on two levels considering I wasn't even the player I was pretending to be) insults and flaming followed. - Jarvis

Back in the summer between 9th and 10th grade, I got into online FPS's. I really liked Battlefield 2142, and eventually started playing regularly on a server owned by the Merlincat's Fun House gaming community. I eventually joined the group and became an admin. It had an interesting social structure that encouraged comradely and obedience to the rules. I eventually become an admin and moved up the ranks until I gained the "elite" rank of "Owner," which meant that I was in a group of 10 others who made overall decisions about the community. At that point, my online interactions were mainly dealing with the other admins, working to keep the community running smoothly. About two years after I joined, the community fell apart. I guess, in some way, I would have considered the people I interacted with as friends, or maybe colleagues. I, of course, used a alias, but the other members were aware of my age, and I didn't really try to hide it. I don't think that I really have any regrets about it. It was good while it lasted, but I also had real friends that I hung out with, so its not really like I lost anything either. - Andrew

Have any of you experienced a strong bond with a machine like Turkle explains in her writing? Almost to the point where you love it as you would love a human? -Ross

I feel like I do have a strong connection with my computer, but I don't know if I can actually have a strong bond with technology. I am not sure if I can love technology like a human. This is a tough question because as technology advances, it might become tougher to tell between a human and a computer, and the lines between humanity and technology will be blurred. -Sri

But as long as the physical elements are easily distinguishable, people should still be able to differentiate. It's when physically, they look the same (humans and computers) that people have to rely on their innate sense of communication and visual reading, as well as instinct, to tell them apart. - Jeff

I have made close friends over instant messaging. I cannot deny the power of technology to bring people together. I can relate, however, to developing emotional connections with things that aren't real. When I was a child, I had a few toys that I felt very fondly for. Even today, they effect an emotional response in me, although that response today is much different than it was years ago. That being said, I don't think technology offers any new "dangers," I think it simply offers a different way for people to develop connections with unreal things. Ismith30

Ismith30I like using technology too much, but I don't believe it is necessary for living. Like, for instance, if I were to break my laptop, or if all the technology I possess was taken away from me, I'd be extremely bored (and sad), but I wouldn't die from its loss. I equate the "strong connection/bond with technology" with its ability to influence a person's life; without it, that person could die.

In reference to the question posted, I have not had a strong connection to a player online or an electro-domestic. I think it is more of a dependency to the technology that makes us feel attach to them.

I have certainly felt emotional attachments to toys when I was younger or even my computer or XBOX 360 now, but not to the extent that it would be a relationship with the piece of technology. I think the "bonds" and "emotions" I associate with these technologies are either nostalgic memories (in the case of old toys) or through projections of friendships associated with them (such as missing my XBOX because I miss playing online with my friends, not because I actually miss the console itself). Msmith312 22:49, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I have made a strong connection with a lot of things technology based but I dont really consider it to be the kind of connection that I would make with a human.

I feel as though these sorts of connections are common in society, but people don't take it for exactly what it is. In the case of myself, I've been guilty of treating my computer with more respect than I do some people. Often times I'll apologize to it if I accidentally drop it. In all honesty, if you show me a kill button for a random stranger and my laptop and I have to kill one, while i'd make the right choice, I can't say that I wouldn't have to think about it for a bit. 

Another example of this is with the original AOL chatterbot, ZolaOnAol. While I knew it wasn't real and I probably never loved it, I would certainly talk to that thing for longer than any person should have. I don't know if it was me trying to get into it's (artificial) brain or what, but I definitely felt a connection - Jarvis


I am going to delete the excess headers. Jpham7

Deleting the headers just made the discussion a mess. We should consider rearranging ideas together and maybe organize them with the use of the questions?

This is exactly why I do not feel deleted items we may feel are unnecessary is, in fact, necessary. (sgilmore7)

I think the headers need to be there. People get a little to carried away with trying to make the wiki too perfect. It just needs to be simple.

For the time being, I have made all the questions bold and indented all responses to them. I've also added simply two headings to split the questions regarding the text in any manner and the proposals. Currently, I think my method makes the indents rather excessive but tolerable. If anyone thinks of a better way than it is currently, please organize this. -- kvicente3

I think this page should be connected to the page regarding Turkle's discussion at Tech.  It would tie together nicely -gstearns3

I like that the questioins are bold, as it breaks up the page into manageable chunks, but i think the indents are unnecessary.-slui6

Yea it definitely looks better and easier to manage. Also, someone should go to the Analysis Policy page on the Main Wiki and change the proposed format to this format because as of now its different. - pthakore1

Nevermind, I unindented everything.  I think it looks a lot more clean now, but that is just me.  Any opinions?  Does anyone want the indents back?-slui6

Stuff from the page --ltolentino3

It is understandable that the questions posed can incite strong opinions. However, to comply with the rules, the actual article must present a neutral view. Objective and biased statements belong in the discussions page. I have selected some such statements from the article and put them here where they belong:

There are many points of view about sexual cybernetic relations. Turkle presents some of them. In my opinion, it would be hard to accept that my partner is having “relations” with another person but it could not be considered cheating. Sexual “relations” through the internet are not really anything but words, like a porn novel. However, I could not understand why my partner would need or want to have this relations if he could have them with me. In the case of the 41 year old couple, I could see why the men wanted this and I would much rather prefer him doing that then having an affair. For any other situation, it would be harder to understand why he would want to do it.
I have personally had friends lose relationships over things like this. Would you think that sites like Facebook is worse, because you know the real or fake name they put on their profile? What is an affair? Is it just sexual? It can be, but I don't think that is why people have long term affairs. There is clearly something missing in someones relationship if they need to supplement it with something additional. The same applies for cybersexing. You could always join your partner MUDding. Even if you chose not to no material long term harm can come from cybersexing, but I can most certainly see how it could cause emotional harm. I wouldn't find it uncomfortable unless my partner would ignore our real relationship for the virtual one. Also from the flip side. Imagine how jealous the person cybersexing your boyfriend/girlfriend is of you for your real life relationship. It is interesting to me that Turkle doesn't present this to the reader directly.
Turkle’s point about finding their true personality through MUDs was very interesting to me. I never thought about the influence of the different possible personalities on people. I can understand how people would like to do it to express their different sides that they can’t in reality because it might not be socially accepted or they are just too shy. However, as the author says, this is not a solution to overcome obstacles. It is just an escape to reality.

I have always jokingly wondered this while playing computer games over large networks. Is the thing currently playing actually there or is it just a computer playing that has been assigned some user name. The point is "What if you never find out?" As "Programming for Love" exhibited, humans easily attach themselves to non-human entities. It is disturbing to consider that robots can be considered human so easily; it seems like it should require more than that. These implications may remind one of the acclaimed film series, The Matrix. While watching the series I remember thinking how freaky it would be if all that could actually happen. What can happen in the world now that it seems some what possible? I feel that there is no need to wait for the future of robots to come around. I agree with Turkle's article Programmed for Love and that it can happen even now. I've seen people who treat and talk to their computers like a significant other, especially if it is a custom made computer they built themselves. If a bond like that can be built with a non-mobile piece of technology, it makes you wonder what additional effects a responding and moving robot could have on a person. I think that if you look at both articles together, it is quite possible that for many people human relationships altogether are only a few more technological developments away from being cut off completely. Between more human-like robots and virtual simulations, closing the RL window can seem very appealing to some people.

Personally, I'm a fan of the RL Window so I would be very worried if my spouse felt the need to participate in virtual sex, especially while I was around. I've, also, played a lot of online games through high school and a lot of times it feels like I'm Alt+Tabbing from real life and my online persona and I think it's scary to think that I could so easily assume a personality that was so different from my real life one.

Further Reading

This PDF document is a resource I found on google that greatly enhances the ability to absorbs much of Sherry Turtle's main clams and observations along with her warnings. We read two articles from her, but this document summarizes many topics and themes we have discussed in class. "This paper will discuss Sherry Turkle’s reflections on how technology and online interaction influence identity construction. First, [it] will outline Turkle’s analysis of the computer as an evocative object and further examine the nature of our relationship with this object. Next, [it] will highlight the key characteristics of identity online as derived from Turkle’s observations. [It] will then examine Turkle’s theory that identity online resonates deeply with a larger cultural shift, namely postmodernism, and that our experiences online are contributing to a cultural reconsideration of the traditionally accepted and unitary notion of identity. Finally, [it] will explore Turkle’s concerns regarding what she sees as some of the more negative impacts of technology on our construction of identity; [it] will close by shedding light on her call for increased media literacy in our culture in an effort to deter some of these negative impacts in the future."

Odd formatting

It seems like we started trying to put all of the questions into question numbers, but for some reason, it just stops halfway through. If someone could take care of that, it would be great. If nobody has taken care of it in the next few hours, I'll go ahead and take a stab at correlating everything. --Jmayhue3 15:32, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

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