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The Amazement of Anonymity

The Amazement of Anonymity

I think I enjoy history, sci-fi, and games like World of Warcraft (that’s not to say I don’t enjoy other things, I like kickboxing, reading, writing, and driving around…VW) because of the Anonymity of it. Same goes with the Internet Forums, and just the internet itself. Some people, when I say Anonymity, think of it as the example of being anonymous in a crowd, and having the “power” to do whatever as no one knows who you really are. This works especially when on the internet in chartrooms or games; Inside, one may feel an urge, gain a certain fetish to become someone else, for example to become mean and bitter and criticize others, while being a shy introvert in real life. I’ll use the example of history. Think of all the people and events that we know about; the leaders, kings, queens, and pharaohs that we read and hear about. The patriots, peasants, chefs (not chiefs…okay chiefs too), gladiators that we’ve learned about. All have touched lives and made history in their own right. Now think about the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people, things, events that stand in between us and those past (and future events) that we do & don’t know about. The unknown “heroes” I’ll call them, the anonymous ones that we don’t know about and that don’t know about us. As they say, there’s a whole world out there; I say yes, and there’s about nine others and probably billions out there floating in a big black area that we don’t really know too much about. I am on a car forum called The VWVortex. I really like Volkswagen cars, and this forum is an information guide and chat room all in one. There’s years of information on this site. You enter the main page, proceed to the Forums section. There are topics ranging from different car companies, all the way to a “lounge” where one can find and speak about anything. Entering any one of these different topics takes you to a pyramid of different categories in which it narrows down into even more specific things like the car section for the Volkswagen Golf, or a Photography Section, respectively. In the VW Golf Forum, one would talk about, ask questions, and even show off their car. In the photography forum, one would talk about cameras, ask questions, and so on. Now think about the slew of information on this one website. You can search from corner to corner, spend days on end looking through this website, and you wouldn’t be finished reading everything within a year if you spent every day all day reading. This car forum is just one in the millions out there on the web. One is essentially anonymous in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people on this particular site, which is part of the fact I am getting at. Now as for the game World of Warcraft, it is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), which means that the over 11 million people play the game and can interact, fight, and help each other. There’s massive cities, continents in the entire world (of warcraft) that one can explore. It takes sometimes ten minutes to fly to an area. It may take a player 20 minutes to walk their character to a destination. I (and probably others) are interested by this game, not only because it creates friendships between people during interactions and playing, but in that it creates a fantasy world that one can lose themselves in. Become anonymous and wander the ‘world’ by themselves. Players can infiltrate different cities of different races of characters and observe and interact with the characters and people in that city. While exploring, a player can witness wild animals fighting, explore caves, or just sit by a stream (all very similar to the anonymity of real life). Back to reality, there’s all of earth to explore, but that may not be feasible for some. For others, exploring the entire world of a game is a major accomplishment. Imagine transporting oneself instantly to a different continent, a different city, a strange village, it becomes a different world than one is used to. Now think about going into the houses, or the small huts around, and seeing the people there in their daily lives; imagine walking through a forest or city you’ve never witnessed before. Seeing the different wild animals, or the stores, the people there, and learning and getting used to that type of lifestyle. THe totally different society of how one would live, interact, and go about their daily routines. A completely different way of life that one probably didn’t know existed. Now come back to your life. You’re here at your computer, reading this article. What if there are other universes, galaxies out there, what about parallel universes that may exist. How do we know there’s not another earth out there with someone just like you, sitting there reading a computer article, but instead of the person reading with their eyes, they read with, let’s say, their hand. Who knows. There could be a planet full of people somewhere else, a lifetime away, that have minds that function as computers, and it rains fire outside, and they have forked tongues like reptiles that helps them to know where a smell is coming from. They would think we are weird for having to pay for something that functions as their minds, a climate where water falls from the sky, and having a non-forked tongue that can’t smell or tell us where a smell is coming from. We would probably seem involved to them. But that’s not what this is about, it’s about how those people are probably, and hopefully thinking as well “wow, there’s a whole other world out there, not just this one that has many different and complex cultures, societies, and people that exist; these people from earth are completely different.” Some of us take this world and this anonymity for granted in that we don’t learn or expect anything of other cultures or places or people, we form prejudices against them, call them ‘backwards.’ Bring yourself back to your room, yourself in front of the computer; think about outer space (space? It seems so bizarre, wonderful and harmless to just call it “space.”). Everything we think of and do in our lives is important to us because it’s all in our minds and we make it important. Now think of how different everyone’s mind is. Some can bend spoons (or so they say), some can visualize a bridge and build it, some can do mathematics lightening fast. All of this becomes and is our lives, we get wrapped up within it and we forget about the past, the future, the present. But we’re still anonymous (would a harsher yet more effective word be ignorant? But not ignorant in that we chose not to learn about other beings or societies or universes, but that we just don’t have the ability to learn about it, such as the ability to travel millions of light years in a few seconds. Hopefully that will come an we can discover these people with the forked tongues, computer minds and the climate that rains fire…) to the universes, planets, cities and people out there in our own planet earth and on others; yet it’s all in and on our minds at one point or another. Anonymity is amazing.

I’m not too sure if it makes complete sense near the end, if you agree or have anything to add, email me: brkfstluvr449@hotmail.com

-J

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