Second Life Drama

The by product of the two largest driving forces behind Second Life (Love and money) is, of course, Drama. We watch it, live it, participate in it and laugh at it. We laugh at how pathetic it all is, and wonder why the people involved don’t devote their passion and time into something more productive. And then we realise we’re watching it unfold and close the window.

I’ve never failed to be amazed that people twice my age can kick up such a fuss that’d put High School kids to shame – it’s amazing how catty and bitchy residents can get.

SL drama, obviously, will pretty much always originate from Second Life. Whether it be by a failed relationship, a competing store or just because someone has a complete lack of any social skills. What differs Second Life dramas from Real Life ones is that they very rarely involve politics or religion – oh no. It’s much more childish and pointless than that.

So here’s how it rolls: Someone says something that somebody else doesn’t like. That person retaliates with personal attacks, which the other person then responds to. Then the friends turn up in hordes to protect their friend, and the whole thing embroils into a small scale fiasco. And of course, Second Life being Second Life, obviously someone has to blog it..

So then it’s out there for anyone in the world to see. Before you know it, it’s being spread on Plurk, across Twitter, into Flickr and other bloggers are wading in with comments and their own entries. All the minions group up and form sides, backing each other up in their blog entries and making a big deal out of what initially was a small little thing.

It’s important to note that there are never any winners – just a whole lot of losers who are mocked silently amongst the masses. Regular participators become “blacklisted” for embroiling themselves in drama at every given opportunity, and people class them as someone who has serious mental issues. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when I’ve bothered to satirise you.

People seem to like examples, but the scenario above will fit just about every SL drama you can think of. If you find this post offensive, then it’s likely because you’re the subject of it. But just for you, I’ll do an example, because you probably wouldn’t mind a model to practice out your next dose of drama with.

Blogger#1 posts a blog entry with a slightly passive aggressive tone, but nothing worth really noting.

Plurker#1 reads the post and goes off on a tangent on Plurk, calling Blogger#1 homophobic/xenophobic/sexist/racist/emoist/idiot/freenis.

Blogger#1 responds to the Plurk and writes a nasty response to get back at them.  Plurker#1’s friends all feel like they have to be offended too, and go to Blogger#1’s blog to leave nasty anonymous comments.

Plurker#1 then goes to their blog and bothers to write something with is longer than 140 characters, and winds up with something nonsensical, catty and venomous. Blogger#1’s snarky friends turn up to make stupid comments on the blog entry, and Plurker#1’s friends respond in the same entry, creating a huge orgy of empty-mindedness which the blogosphere turns up to see.

Then sections of the blogosphere decide they want to take sides, and use posts on the feed and Flickr pics to illustrate their points.

Other people watching the chaos descend just sit on the sidelines and shake their heads, wondering how the hell these people are able to function without being locked up in a padded room.

Finally the whole thing just gets blown out of proportion and someone satirises the whole thing just to remind everyone how stupid it all is.

Confused yet? You should be.

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16 Responses to “Second Life Drama”

  1. enoughslbullying Says:

    So much high school gibberish…

  2. danciengraves Says:

    And yet people keep reading it and commenting on it

  3. Exactly – see above! 😉

  4. laveaalter Says:

    “Second Life dramas from Real Life ones is that they very rarely involve politics or religion – oh no. It’s much more childish and pointless than that.”

    Most RL drama is generally not policital or religious, but definitely is childish and pointless. All the “SL drama models” I’ve seen would apply to pretty much any online or offline situation. People thrive on drama. Put of group of people in ANY situation together and the drama will ensue. Those not directly involved in it still love to witnesses it. Why else would crap reality TV be so popular?

  5. Warning Plug coming up….I have a SL/RL therapist coming on Tonight Live this Sunday to talk about this! SNAP, its very interesting to me how new media has definitely changed how quickly the “Drama” can escalate and how, yes, it imitates work environments and school. Instead of 2 Adults addressing the situation privately or even with a mediator, it is Plurked blogged Twittered ect.. which can be basically a cowardly way to confront someone. The Gang mentality. Get a posse of yes people to publicly support your “issue” with another person, try and draw the person out on a public forum to make an idiot of themselves in print. I have read sooooo many instances of this where I know for a fact the person has not taken up their grievance with the person in private at all, when it has been entirely possible to so, but gone straight for the public call for group humiliation and slander. Bad form Childish and cowardly. I do understand people who have a serious grievance on a professional level who cannot approach the person with whom they have that grievance and its a case of inform the public this person or company is corrupt, but gees you better have your facts straight and correct or you fall into the same bag. Just wait till the lawyers get their claws into this…..like they do with Newspapers and journals, could get nasty and it will when blogging and online readers finally take over from words on paper
    Its fun to watch cause it aint us thats in the firing line and humans love to watch a good fight! hense the popularity of sport. Any hoo Im going to talk to a professional about all of this on Sunday, I wonder what she will say about all of this…Paisley

  6. Exactly Prad. You’ve nailed the reason I stay out of this stuff.

  7. annotoole Says:

    yup. pretty much.

    no different from the snarky old ladies gossip circles associated with various churches irl. this immature behavior by adults thing has been going on for years and years.

    Daytime Soaps anyone? Used to be you just watched them. Now people try to live them. But isn’t that part of what Second Life is all about? Living out fantasies?

  8. “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”Malcolm X (also said in variation by many others, including Alexander Hamilton, Steve Bartkowski and Michael Evans)

  9. In take the ball and go home by Seth Godin, he says, “bullies can’t be bullies when they are alone. They need you.” – as does drama… it really gets nowhere if no one buys into it. I’ve been guilty of commenting (and wishing I hadn’t). It’s part of the reason I now cringe when a link leads me to this blog (even though for the most part, it’s filled with objective, well thoughtout and well written posts).

  10. Some people really do need to get a life.
    It’s why I refused, in one past “incident” to respond in “public” to the actual post, or Twitter, Plurk or Blather in these so called “social networking” sites.
    You will find if you confront these drama merchants, in person, that they usually can’t take what they give. Mostly they come up with a lame “excuse” that “My site has X hits” ( the web rewards bad behavior) or even better “no one knew about you until you appeared in my Blog / Website”
    Which of course exposes the whole Raison d’etre for their post. They want attention. So as you say Moggs..if no one responds, then their entire reason for being implodes

  11. I have no idea what this particular SL drama is about or who are the players. But I’m definitely an advocate of free speech. If someone has a beef against another person, they can and should express it and even use personal attacks if they need to. That helps the public, which has no mass media inside SL, to judge events, people, products. It’s all we have. So while tabloids scandalize and blogs horrify, they are as good as it gets in terms of free media in SL. If you don’t like it, become a reporter, investigate, find facts, post the real story on *your* blog.

    I find that those who go to the trouble to use the term “drama” and put things on their profile like “no drama allowed” and who write “drama kills friendships, I avoid it” etc. with hearts and flowers are in fact those most immersed in drama, and the greatest purveyors about it. Drama, after all, is merely the expression of the function of narcissistic social media. I you are at all able to zoom out from your own personal situation and reactions and approach an issue critically, you won’t be as immersed in drama.

    I found this in blogging about the notorious Legend City Online. A definite documented incident of content lock-out did indeed occur, and not as some automatic function, and I reported it accurately, and yet I was deluged with hate posts from the divas lining up to protect their diva friends. The more the divas dug their own holes by the awful things they said and did, like publicizing chatlogs from customers, the more they became fiercely protective, even siccing a RL lawyer after me (unsuccessfully).

    Groups and group affiliations are AWFUL things on the Internet, and in SL they become a downright horror. Plurk is particularly bad for making insular self-referential little spiteful groups who feed each other’s drama and insanity all day long in sick co-dependency. The quickest way out of drama isn’t to “take your toys and go home” but to behave as an individual, step out of the groupthink, and make up your own mind, and speak it, as forcefully as you need to, without fear or favour.

  12. Drama needs both parties to actually work. There are always haters, always will be. So much drama starts from REACTING to miscommunication, jealousy, or whatever imagined motivations someone might put on you.

    Life’s short, Second Life’s even shorter… why spend all that energy entertaining whatever misconceptions might be thrown at you? And yah, Moggs and Connie are right, so much of this is about attention or ‘hits’. The problem is, if you score big with some drama post, some scandal, well, then you pretty much have to follow it up with another one to keep people’s attention. Which means, basically, if you choose to try to stir stuff up you’re pretty much condemning yourself to a long unhappy career of being angry and sharing it with the world.

    Whatever, drama is 100% avoidable. They can only hurt you as much as you want.

  13. Skyllar Nightfire Says:

    Drama, as Love, needs two to flourish, or else is just a monodrama and will fade away very fast.
    So in these cases, sometimes the best thing to do, if you are sure of yourself and dont need blogosphere aproval, is just to ignore. The ones important to you know You, and will always be by your side, so just let the dogs bark.

  14. So people wont like this but I find the blog/drama drama highly entertaining and don’t have an issue egging it on just for pure enjoyment. What I find funny is that the most people don’t get I am doing this on purpose and I don’t honestly have an opinion about either party. Call me pathetic and disgusting all you want, it don’t make me none – I’m just here to have a good time.

    And Oh FYI – I have no fear in dishing out my own dirty laundry but its purely focused on a person who has played a significant part in my life and has truly hurt and effected me in some manner. In other words, some avatar at some fashion/art/music show that I don’t necessarily know or care to know who has pissed me off being a nimrod won’t be worth my time and effort of blogging. Take care and see ya on the blogs!

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