mez breeze on Tue, 29 Apr 2008 12:39:08 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Reality Mixing + the Geospecificity Complex

_In real life_ [irl
<>] is a
phrase employed in a wide range of networked interactions
and used notably in early phases of internet communication
[eg IRC<>,
ICQ <> and
Y-talk<>]. _Irl_ is
used as a label to demarcate a subject's presence on-and-offline. In
this dichotomy, definitions of reality are binary with a clear schism
evident between the geophysical and synthetic. The title of _Second
Life_ is an example of this divide via the implication of a necessary
"First Life" [phenomenological reality]. _Irl_ is often relayed
with negatively-inflected emotionality towards those who display a
perceived preference for online/synthetic immersion.

In contrast, the term
_afk_<>[_away from
keyboard_] indicates an inclusiveness regarding geophysical and
synthetic states. Whereas _irl_ evokes hierarchical connotations in
relation to reality definitions, _afk_ indicates a fluctuating, fluid
involvement. _Afk_ illustrates a fuzzy presencing that eclipses easy
polarisations; a subject's physical body is removed from the synthetic
environment whereas their synth/avatar is still actualised in-world
<> :

"Away from keyboard means a user is not at their computer. There is a
command, /afk, which marks the user as AFK. The name of the character
will show up as <AFK>Name, and an auto-response will be sent to anyone
who sends the flagged user a tell?


Person A says: /afk eating food

Person B says:
l>A Hello.

Person B receives: A is Away from Keyboard: eating food".

The _afk_ concept demonstrates the murkiness of
establishing reality gradations when considering synthetic
environments. Paul Milgram suggested the Reality-Virtuality
a type of linear reality scale where at one end lies
Geophysical Reality ["The Real Environment"] and the
opposite end houses the Virtual. In-between lies an area
economies>defined as Mixed
he-real-and-the-virtual/>: a mixture of augmented virtuality and the

This Reality-Virtuality Continuum as such offers a
vectored compartmentalisation of reality within scientific
confines<>. An elastic,
contemporized version of this Continuum might read:

lated> ?[Cartesian]?-
N32xGRaw> ??>[Synthetic]

?with each mode spawning distinct "swarmic variables" or "notional
massing". Conditional examples of such masses/variables are:

[Synthetic] = Avatar
-of-npirl-delights>/ Non-Player Character
Annexing / Auxiliary Proprieception
<> / Networked
Socialisation <>

[Mixed] = Layered Attention / Identity Extensions
/ Augmented States of Consciousness / Multiple

[Cartesian] = Euclidian / Non-Euclidian / Human Area
Dimensional Consciousness

[Geophysical] = Primary Consciousness / Ego-Mediation / Geospecificity
/ Geolocation

These masses could parallel volume [in the audio sense]
in terms of measurement and production of reality
iage.html>that map and mix composite modes
simultaneously. For instance, the phenomena of Geocaching
<> or mobile gaming such as
_Parallel Kingdom_ which: "brings new meaning to Role Playing
Games by using GPS to place the virtual world on top of the real
world<> ".

In relation to the creation of such a _Reality Spectrum_, one
intriguing by-product could be a redefinition of established
principles regarding conceptions of consciousness, perception,
identity construction and associated mental health conditions
related to "normalcy". If reality isn't what we once thought it
was, perhaps the inclusion of an Internet Addiction Disorder
<> in the
_Mental_Disorders>should not be a desired aim. Instead, should there
be a proposal to include a range of disorders that diagnose the
inability of a subject to adapt to reality contouring? For instance,
a type of _Geospecificity Complex_ that highlights a dysfunction
perceiving modalities that exist apart from concrete geophysical


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