Lost in cyberspace

Cyberspace:
1. The realm of electronic communication
2. Virtual reality

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The thing that leapt out at me most during one of our readings this week was this idea of being “pulled” into cyberspace. I find it interesting how we refer to cyberspace as a geographic place, much so that we use terminology such as “visiting” a website or “entering” a chat room. There are many positives about cyberspace, like the sense of community. But what happens when people fall deeply into this community and begin to confuse their online existence it with the real world. We often see YouTube clips of online gamers viciously verbally abusing other gamers through their headset and sometimes physically attacking their computer or gaming console when something doesn’t go their way. What I didn’t realize is that this is an actual addiction – there have been documentaries on Internet and gaming addiction being treated as a very serious illness. There are now self help websites and organisations where people can post about their addiction. I found that the majority of addicts were young boys, typically aged 10-15 years old, spending 10+ hours a day playing online. It is now understandable how they are pulled in to this virtual world – they are not doing much else. Much like any other addiction, when they aren’t online they are thinking about being online and therefore lose focus in real life activities such as school, sport, and familial commitments.

 

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7 thoughts on “Lost in cyberspace

  1. Good ideas. I agree that cyberspace has a definite pull. There are so many people out there addicted to the internet and spend hours upon hours starring at a screen. It’s almost sad that people NEED cyberspace to feel alive. I mean – it’s not reality. Once you step away from the screen what is their life? I think it’s an interesting question to see how cyberspace has changed people to neglect real life and only engage in a virtual world.

  2. Hey Loren,

    I found your point about often referring to cyberspace as an actual geographic location very interesting. I have often “visited a webpage” or “entered a chatroom” without realizing i was even doing so. I do however also agree with you about user of MMOGs becoming addicted to playing virtual games in cyberspace. I can’t quite grasp the concept as i don’t play many games myself, but i do see how there online and real lives could get confused and blur into one!

  3. Addiction is a really good example of how cyberspace can transfer into our real space. Unfortunately it is the connection with the ‘thing’ e.g. online games that pulls it into the real world, rather than real connections with other people. Other than those of outrage that you mentioned.

    (Just something I remember hearing in my tute – we are to be addressing a public audience so anyone can read this. They may need a bit more contextualisation or a link to/name of the reading in the future)

    • That’s a really good tip, thank you 🙂 there are a few links in there but I did get a bit lazy with quality sources. In some of the ‘addiction stories’ I read they did mention the whole idea of being connected=being addicted, however a lot of kids say they can’t just not go on the computer all together because of homework etc., I now realise it would have been worthwhile to mention that haha

  4. I like you ideas that vising the Internet or gaming is an actual addiction. This is really true.Like my boyfriend who loves gaming badly, he completely forgets what he has to do in real life while gaming. Seems like he is vising a different mysterious world from ours. In this situation, he is pulled in to the gaming world.

  5. It really is like entering a geographic location. I think when I use sites like Tumblr I actually feel like I’m entering a space that is tailored to my own personal interests. As you said it can be quite addictive and more often then not I spend an entire night on the platform without even realising.

  6. Your take on cyberspace really interested me. The blurred lines between reality and cyberspace are quite concerning in the issues you spoke of such as internet addiction although I find it ironic that there are online forums to speak of online addiction.

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