A different view of Immersion and Augmentation

Recently, there have been some discussions about immersion and augmentation in Second Life. They are presented as a continuum. Either you focus on an immersive experience of Second Life, where your avatar takes on a life of its own, and the role of technology in mediating the experience becomes less and less important, or you focus on using the technology to augment your communication with other people in Second Life.

Some augmentation folks view immersion as a subset of augmentation and some immersion folks view augmentation as a subset of immersion. In thinking about it, I wonder if Immersion and Augmentation are different ends of a continuum, or if they are orthogonal axis.



Augmentation and Immersion, originally uploaded by Aldon.

In the lower left corner, we find people who are neither particularly immersed in Second Life nor particularly good at using Second Life to augment their communication. These are people just starting out in Second Life, the Noobies.

Some people become more and more immersed in Second Life. Those that become immersed without augmenting their communications become the Spectators, swept up in the wonderful immersive environment. These people become more adept at navigating in Second Life, at using the camera angles, mouselook and other tools to get the most out of their experience in Second Life. They may enhance their own avatars as part of their effort to be more immersed in the environment.

Those that focus on augmenting their communications in Second Life become the Performers. Some people participate in Second Life, performing, being interviewed, speaking on panels. They take advantage of groups, voice chat, and other tools to communicate more effectively. They may also enhance the appearance of their avatars, but they do this to communicate more about themselves as opposed to as part of an effort to become more immersed in the environment.

Yet really, none of us exist on just one axis or the other, and we spend different amounts of time enhancing our ability to communicate with Second Life as well as our ability to immerse ourselves in Second Life. With that, you get people who actively role-play in Second Life. They combine both the immersive and the augmentive aspects of Second Life.

So are immersion and augmentation orthogonal axis, instead of a continuum? Where do you exist on such a plane? How does it change your perspective on being in Second Life? Or, am I looking at things completely wrong?

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The little hill



The little hill, originally uploaded by Aldon.

Yesterday, Mairead, Miranda and I went sledding. It was warm and the snow was slushy. The sleds may not have gone as fast as they would have otherwise and we got soaked, but we also had a blast.

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Being Heard

A lot of my therapist friends are talking about HBO’s series, In Treatment. They argue about whether it is a realistic representation of therapy. They question whether it is misrepresenting the experience of therapy because of problems of how it was translated from the Israeli series “Be Tipul”.

The New York Times reviews the series with an article, He Listens. He Cares. He Isn’t Real. In the article, Diane O’Rourke, a medical writer from Chicago is quoted, “There is an old saying that most men would rather have you hear their story than grant their wish.”

When asked about this I responded that as a blogger, putting my story online daily, so I might not be the best person to ask this, however, I've often felt that the deepest wish that many people have is simply to be heard.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Perhaps the ADD lion starts off by chasing the rabbit that we invoke to bring good luck at the beginning of each month, and then gets distracted by, “Oh, look, there goes a squirrel…” This gives ways for us to contemplate the Paschal Lamb.

This March starts off more a little more strangely than most after leap day. I didn’t get a chance to do anything special for leap day, but it seems like several of the mailing lists have gone berserk. On one list a person starts acting up, gets placed under moderation, complains about it on several other mailing lists and starts receiving legal threats before, hopefully, shutting up and leaving. On another list, people claiming to be Democrats start saying the most hate filled racists and xenophobic garbage I’ve heard in years, prompting me to ask, in the best imitation of our generations Joe McCarthy, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a Muslim organization?” On a third list about social networking, one person was wandered off on several rants that make me wonder if they are a broken Markov Chainer.

Looking forward, this will be quite the month. On Tuesday, I will be at the Second Circuit of appeals to blog about the court hearing the Avery Doninger appeal. Details can be found at Andy Thibault’s blog.

Tuesday will also be the day that voters in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island express their opinions about whether they want judgment or someone experienced with the way things have been done for the last thirty five years answering the three A.M. phone call in the White House. When I saw the first ad in that series, I thought, “Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!”

I expect that we will finally see the old house sold this month, as well as a special event that I’m waiting for permission to blog about and some other great opportunities to talk about using online digital social media to help groups get their message out.

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Tracking the Twisty Mazes

Everyone seems to be tweaking the way you can see what someone is up to online.

MyBlogLog has just changed its pages so that you can see all the updates from your contacts to any of the social network services out there. It seems to be in flux a little bit right now. When I checked a little while ago, it didn’t show any updates from my neighborhood. Now it is showing a lot.

One problem is that it is showing tweets from friends of friends that have added their Twitter page into MyBlogLog. As an example, at this moment, the most recent buzz in my neighborhood is a tweet from tombarrett to techiebreaker showing up in Alexdc’s twitter feed. Likewise, if you look at my feed, you’ll see the most recent update being a message from noneck to ahoppin. I’ve changed my Twitter feed to only show my own tweets instead of all the tweets from all my friends.

Even by doing that, I still get duplication. When I send a picture from Second Life via Bloghud to Flickr, it also shows up as a tweet on twitter. This is similar to problems I ran into Jaiku quite a while ago. Jaiku never really caught my attention, but since MyBlogLog incorporates into a bigger picture of who is reading whose blogs, it is much more compelling. Supposedly BlogCatalog is going to add some similar features soon.

Spock also aggregates news from different sources. I’ve gone out and tweaked the setting there and it looks like they are doing a nice job of it. Then, today, all my friends started showing up on friendfeed, yet another entry in the personal information aggregation space. Of course some of them provide RSS feeds so we can start feeding one into another.

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