Reporting live from inside Gaia Online

Ohka+from+Hack Reporting live from inside Gaia OnlineGaia is great because it is full of people who just can’t seem to get a grip on real life at all. With all its fantasy role-playing, cliquishness, inside jokes, and the unending affection of total strangers, it is a welcome hideout for the socially awkward to escape to. It’s also a place, however, that some must inevitably escape from.

Gaia has its own economy, its own government, its own society, subcultures, and religion. It has all the inclinations of our modern-day, real-life architecture, but it exists entirely within a digital computer world in which everyone is rewarded for their contributions and participation. While this appeals to the same gear of human nature which likes videogames and play-until-you-win reward systems, some people replace real-life interaction with this alternative reality in which everyone can be a winner all the time. And because this is the new reality that replaced the old one, in which we used to have to be there for our friends and communicate with them and be good to them, help them out with their issues, and so on, its lack of social challenge perverts these users’ concept of what meaningful social interaction is, because there is no real basis for friendship anymore. You can now make friends by looking at their profile, making a comment about it, and then sending a friend request. This is easy to do and anybody can have thousands of digital friends and still speak to just a couple of people every day. So then social interactions start to mutate, and we begin replacing one emotion with another. Because a friend’s enthusiastic laughter no longer accompanies every interaction, we begin replacing one genuine emotion – happiness – with others: attachment, intimacy, joy from acceptance, and from sharing secrets or an experience unique to this kind of existence.

Just today I discovered two people playing out this weird mommy/daughter role-play fantasy routine where the daughter keeps asking mommy if she loves her enough, and taking issue with the fact that she is never there.

thx i just fekt out because u where never on and u where on when i was not V_V but now its ok ^_^

^in response to the following:

OK…I just want you to know that NO MATTER WHAT I am your friend/mom! ^_^ So I need to tell you that this weekend I won’t be on because I am going to my fiancee’s mom’s house and she doesn’t have interwebz…. crying BUT I will get on asap! ^_^ How are you doing??

mommy Reporting live from inside Gaia Online

The posts are being deleted every day or two, probably because the daughter doesn’t want the outside world to see what she has been doing with her internet time, especially not real mommy and daddy.

mommy2 Reporting live from inside Gaia Online
You see, this is just the hilarious tip of the iceberg. Between exaggerated realities like the example you see here, and the kid who posts in the non fiction arena about his dad beating him and his sister with a thirty foot extension cord, you have a bell curve of people who talk about goths, and how they aren’t goths, “emos”, their avatars, vampires, people who are vampires, people who love vampires, and people who wish they were vampires so they make vampire avatars.

You will find people who have absolutely no bearing on the art community, but post as feverishly as though there was a little publisher standing behind them, yelling, “Churn out more material! The kiln of the entire artistic community simply will not fire without your input! We need more shit faster!” And they don’t care that shitting out some half-assed blurry snapshot of their cat isn’t considered art, because to them, it IS art just so long as they have some bullshit reason to contrive and justify its submission to the corporate-owned art community they wish to be a part of.

twilight Reporting live from inside Gaia Online

As you have already figured out for yourselves, this is a website by adults, for kids. It purports to support creativity and self-development by selling fake, digital garments and accessories, backed by MTV/Viacom finance and style-marketing keywords, which can be bought with the fictitious gold either purchased with a parent’s credit-card or “earned” through the submission (spamming) of a picture of one’s eyeball, or a drawing of their own avatars, or copying-and-pasting Wikipedia entries (a known source of bullshit). Like real-life rap music and Britney Spears from the year 2000, people are now digitizing an existence in which they make art for Pepsi commercials and help to propagate the style and standard set by the “manufacturer of cool” where ten-year-old styles and attitudes that, in the circles that once pioneered them, stagnated within months of their inceptions but carry on through marketing, online advertising and PR. Subversive cultural dynamics submitted by the undercover hired geeks of Viacom keep the tensions alive and convince children that signing their identities away to a multinational corporation is how to rebel against mom and dad, and their vicious ADD medications. Paid strangers keep this shit alive, not regular people. MTV’s future and their ability to control ours depends on it.
We will see you next Friday when local media mogul Billy B will present his continuing investigation into the world’s most unprecedented cheapening of everyday reality. He’s looking into the bastardization of artistic standards and practices in their entirety as part of his investigation into the seedy microcosm mocking our very existence in all its capacity to do so by using us against our nonintellectual selves. We’ll report to you next week from inside the hellish introspective reality of Gaia Online.

This is all we are, in a nutshell, and all we’ll ever be. Tune out, jack in.

THIS DISCUSSION IS OVER.