Technorati Tags: identity
The report talks about how consumers are creating fully fleshed out virtual existences, dressing up their avatars, making friends and buying property in virtual worlds. What caught my eye was when it goes on to ask that since people now have "multiple lives", why shouldn’t some of them live forever? While some people let their avatars fall into "online purgatory", many more leave behind specific instructions on how their virtual selves should proceed. Services offering avatar surrogates flourish, and we will undoubtedly begin to distribute avatars to friends and family in our wills (your WoW gold hoard will naturally form part of your estate!). I wrote a piece about this for The Guardian a couple of years ago, but at that time I was thinking about the practicalities of inheriting the BA Miles rather than the Level 57 Gnome Rogue.
I think we should also recognise that it is the technologies of disconnection that are crucial in realising these kind of dreams. For a virtual self to live forever it has to be protected in some way, by hardware tokens or something. Otherwise it will eventually degrade, as the password is phished, cracked, guessed or forgotten.
My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public.
[posted with ecto]