Infinite Reality: the Hidden Blueprint of Our Virtual Lives.

In their day-to-day lives, people often consciously manage their appearance as they dress in the morning. Men shave, women put on makeup, and business people don œpower suits. People also diet, exercise, and tan. Some individuals take self-presentation to a more involved level, injecting Botox, enduring plastic surgery, or switching their genders via a combination of hormones and surgery. Virtual reality, however, can take strategic self-presentation to another level. Unconstrained by physical reality, everything about a person’s appearance and behavior is up for grabs. One can be effortlessly transformed by œdonning an avatar, which can be taller, the other gender, or even a different species than the person wearing it. And people alter avatars with great frequency. Like the Greek god Proteus, avatars can take on whatever form the person in control desires (Infinite Reality, 102-103). Whether you agree or disagree with the authors’ evident optimism, for this paper I want you to develop an objection to their claim that identity, behavior, indeed œeverything¦is up for grabs, such that a person could be œeffortlessly transformed into another sex, race, age, even a different species of animal. There are many ways one could object to this promise. You are to select and develop only one objection; let me emphasize that: develop a single, well-developed objection. This assignment is challenging, so I strongly encourage you to talk with me and your TAs before submitting your final draft.