Saturday, 25 May 2013

Totally Invisible

Browsing the SL marketplace today, for nothing in particular, I came across an advert for a HUD that makes you invisible. "Totally invisible", it claims, even hiding your name tag which, ordinarily, hovers over your head. Thinking I knew the answer, I sheepishly asked the members of a group I am part of if they knew about this and what it was for - and was surprised. "For combat sims," came the response, "So you can cheat". I confess, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I was relieved. "Ah, okay," I replied, making my relief evident "I thought it was going to be more sinister than that."

The same person then said, "Or for roleplay. Say you're naked and tied up and someone is raping you and you can't even see them." I had expected the answer to be seedy, but that exact use had not occurred to me. It does make some sense, though; amongst other things, I imagine women are getting pretty fed up with the ridiculous and ridiculously-proportioned prim cocks that these wannabe rapists are probably sporting, and so invisibility is probably the better option. 

Am I hiding, invisible in this shot? Hint: be serious now.
I'm ashamed to say, too, that my first response to this was actually that if you wanted to be invisible in roleplay, all you'd have to type is "Kitti Wytchwood is invisible"...but don't worry, I didn't type that in the group chat. I think I actually said that my roleplays don't tend to go down that way, which is true. I usually end up getting punched by those who are perfectly visible. The point is: that such exists, and is used in this way, doesn't surprise me in the least which is, I suppose, rather sad.

I don't even know where to begin unpacking this one. I wondered if this "total invisibility" thing wasn't a rather lofty claim, but the item in question has had six customer reviews, all of which are rather glowing. So, whatever they used it for, it must have worked. 

The same shop also has some kind of application/HUD/thing that supposedly allows you to send messages anonymously within SL, and/or to change your name to whatever you like to then send messages. No lofty claims this time - apparently, the messages are still traceable, thank the internet gods - but this is still rather unsettling, and I wonder if I would feel such confidence in that reassurance that the messages can be traced if my mother hadn't spent a couple of years being an internet pirate (Hi Mum!). Do those whose family members haven't been involved in the high seas of the interwebs know that such things can be traced? I'm not sure.

Seems to me that there's a question of consent here. And also, of common sense. And that whole general idea that if you're ashamed to attach your name to what you're saying, you probably shouldn't be saying it, and all of that. It's stood me in pretty good stead, but then I'm not the kind of person who has got "show tagged photos of me" turned off on Facebook because I'm afraid my mate Paul is gonna upload pictures of me flashing my tits at nuns when I got drunk in Manchester that time (If I got drunk and flashed some nuns and he took a photo, I'd say he's probably got every right to upload it to the Facebook. And I'd be hurt if he didn't tag me in it).

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