TG residents brace for voice feature

September 2, 2007 at 10:30 pm | Posted in PixelPulse Archive, Second Life | Comments Off on TG residents brace for voice feature

By VERONIQUE LALONDE

Because of the link between voice and real-life identify, the transgender population of Second Life perhaps has more at stake than others regarding integrated voice, a feature currently on the Beta Grid and due to go live in a couple of months on the Main Grid.

It will likely impact every SL resident. Some view it as a victory for honesty in relationships or as liberation for dyslexics and poor typists. Others see it as an intrusion of First Life into the world of SL or as marginalization of those who are hearing-impaired or poor speakers. Some are concerned it will result in SL being divided into two camps: those who prefer to speak and those who prefer to type. So how do transgender individuals feel about the issue?

The term “transgender” includes a wide variety of nonstandard gender identities, from cross-dressers to transitioned transsexuals and everything in between (and perhaps a bit off to the side.) In SL, the term becomes even broader, including the whole spectrum of people whose primary avatar is the opposite sex of their RL biological sex and who have myriad reasons for this being so. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, to find a variety of opinions among transgender people in SL about integrated voice.

Jani Myriam, who founded and directs the Transgender Resource Center in SL, is prepared for possible surprises. “I will probably issue a poll to the TRC group to see if they want us to support voice or not on TRC parcels,” she said. “I’m assuming the answer will be no, but I could well be wrong.”

‘It’s not a game’
Negative feelings about integrated voice are especially prevalent among those who are not transitioning — those whose expression of a gender different from their biological sex is realized mostly or only in SL. People who are transgender in RL but who do not cross-dress, at least not in public, and do not feel drawn toward hormonal therapy and sex reassignment surgery, find in SL the fulfillment of a fantasy that is not possible for them in RL. For most, this fantasy is made possible only by the fact that they do not have to speak.

Second Life, by its very name, implies new possibilities. “Personally, it seems obvious that Second Life is intended to offer its users the opportunity to have a second life different from their first life,” Jani said. “In other words, a second identity different from their primary identity.” Others in the community agree. “I think one of the best things about SL is the ability to be anybody you can imagine,” Candy Wood said. “Obviously voice chat will make that more challenging.”

One online identity might not be enough. Like many TG individuals who are not in a transition process, Maura Philbin (shown at top) uses two avatars, one TG female (Maura) and one nonTG female. She expressed what others also said about the fulfillment SL brings. “Since I am female in personality and responses … but born as male, I prefer to pass as a woman as often as possible. I pass in RL but not with my deeper voice without a lot of ‘work,’ ” she said. “SL gives me a chance to interact, do projects, be with all sorts of people, make friends — all as an assumed GG (genetic girl). It has made me very happy. To be ‘me’ (the real female me) without working at passing is very uplifting and growth-filled.”

Comments gathered from several stealth transgender individuals suggest how important this opportunity to live as a member of the opposite sex has become for many transgender people and even for those who did not know they were transgender before SL, or who are only in the process of figuring it out. To have this threatened by the ascendancy of voice communication over typing seems to shake many to their core. “It’s not a game” is a phrase that came up in interviews more than once. “Key to me at SL is to be able to live holistically as a TG woman,” said Dee Fredriksson (pictured just above.) For her, “female is more than an illusion for me … I am feminine in my thinking in RL … so that gets destroyed, or in the very least negatively impacted once voice goes live.”

Practice makes perfect
On the flip side, voice seems less of a threat and even an opportunity for certain transgender people. Some said they are quite comfortable with their situation, wherever they fit in the transgender spectrum, and so don’t care about passing, being outed, or being shunned by fellow Second Lifers. Kelly Zambia, an officer at the TRC, is one such SL resident. She says she has a “quiet confidence” about who she is that makes her less susceptible to what others think and more positive about voice. “When I dress as a woman, it doesn’t really make that much difference to me if I ‘pass,’ ” she said of her First Life. “I’m just being true to myself, so if they have a problem, then it’s their problem, not mine.” Her attitude seems to allow her to be fairly sanguine about voice, at least for her TG avatar. She also said she types with only one hand, so voice would make communication easier for her.

Transsexuals in the process of transition might even welcome voice communication so they can practice their new voice in a somewhat safer environment than the physical world. “Those who are far along in transition don’t seem to mind, as much as they’ve already worked through their voice issues in RL,” Jani said of some members of the TRC.

Voices in disguise
Many of those interviewed who expressed negative feelings about using their own voices in SL were hopeful about voice-morphing software. The current technology, however, seems to lag well behind the expected launch of integrated voice in-world. “I’ve experimented with the current crop of voice-morphing software like MorphVOX and Voice Cloak, and they’re not there yet” said Jani (pictured below.)

Super Calamari (aka Cala) seemed more hopeful but cautious about the current state of technology. “I and a few of my friends are going to buy and group-review a set of hardware voice modulators,” she said. “I’ve seen some equipment that looks very promising, but that’s pretty top-end and out of reach of the vast majority of (residents).”

It seems voice will be widespread much sooner than good voice-morphing technology. Any who are counting on disguising their voices may end up holding off on using the feature until voice-morphing improves and comes down in price.

Even the best of voice-morphing might not be right for some. In answer to a question about such software, Kisa Naumova said, “Well, I thought that would be OK, but for me it’s a lot to do with how I see myself — and hearing myself in my head, no matter what voice morphing could do, would shatter that.”

Cala, who has tried the voice feature on the Beta Grid, also mentioned the delay in hearing one’s speech through the headphones and how distracting that is. “I found it difficult to follow text at the same time and drive my avvie and camera-pan,” she said.

Generalized or specialized?
Most of the impact of integrated voice will perhaps depend on how widespread its use becomes. For those who have reasons not to use voice, the worst case scenario is one in which voice is everywhere and “typists” are marginalized, perhaps even ridiculed. For the same people, the best case scenario might be one in which voice is largely specialized, used for instances like lectures.

At this point, there is only speculation. “I think it will simply not be used except under certain specific circumstances like Q-&-A sessions with hosts at conference meetings and the like,” Jani said. Others see it taking over the majority of the grid, leaving only pockets of nonvoice areas. It seems only time will tell how “integrated” the feature will become in SL.

Common concerns
Many transgender residents also share the same concerns as numerous nontransgender residents, mainly about SL losing its “otherness.” “There’s an erosion of the ‘your imagination’ that voice seems to accelerate, the intrusion of your (real-life) self into a space that it doesn’t have a part in,” Kisa said.

There also is an issue of privacy and of not wanting to be speaking while at a computer that might be in a shared space. “I am generally on SL in situations where I’m not totally private,” Dee said. “Chat and IM are fine, but voice will prevent me from acting in a private manner while on SL.”

Written by Veronique Lalonde and originally posted on April 7, 2007 at PixelPulse Magazine. © PixelPulse Magazine and Veronique Lalonde. All rights reserved.

Below are 31 comments that were made to the original post:

1. Gaia Decosta on April 9th, 2007
I have had mixed feelings about this ever since I heard about it. I’m still about 30 months away from my RL name change and the start of transition, and I only started HRT a few weeks ago. The “get some practice” argument has some merit, and I will definitely be doing that in areas designated vocal, but I am concerned for those permanently (or temporarily) held back from transition whether that be their circumstance, or their choice. My concern is that people already marginalized by all reasons regarding voice, not just TG folk, will have to put up with constantly defending their text-based comms or else be left out of many events and experiences in SL. How will the SL shops and clubs handle this? At what point, in an environment that is not mandatory to inhabit, is our right to privacy overridden by someone else’s need for an identity check (which I think voice will ultimately boil down to)?

2. Veronica on April 10th, 2007
If someone is serious about their transition, voice can be learned. It takes months of work, though, and it’s not sexy at all like the clothes and makeup parts of transition, so usually the old cross dressers and late transitioners don’t bother to learn it or give up. Voice is really a good indicator of whether someone is serious about transition to me, because anyone can have face surgery or put on a dress, but learning voice takes actual commitment and work.

3. Cami on April 10th, 2007
Many Universities have a Voice Department. Such as THE Department Of Communicative Disorders. They do Voice work with young kids, screening for school. Also help people that have had a stroke or other life expereince effect thier voice and needing to Re-Learn how to Speak. The University of Wisconsin / Madison now Does help TG/TS people learn the Female Voice. I have gone thru 4 Semesters of Voice Training and am Very happy with the results of speaking in a Feminine Voice. You HAVE to be Dedicated in learning this. I would recommend for those interested to call thier local University and see if they do this for the Community.

good luck 🙂

4. ABM on April 14th, 2007
Everyone approaches transgenderism in SL at different stages of awareness of their own sexuality.

Me — I’m a gay man struggling with this: SL has made me aware of many, many TG issues that I wasn’t even aware of. I joined as a woman nearly subconsciously — it just seemed the natural thing to do. I’m certainly not anxious for anything surgical or hormonal, but if there were a magical pill that could transform me instantly into a genetic woman — I’m beginning to think that I would take it.

When I am on SL, I am not gay, I am not transgenered . . . my consciousness is a woman. Voice will take that away from me.
Personally, if voice takes off and becomes dominant form of communication with those who “haven’t bought a mike” as being ridiculed as MTF posers, I will quit SL.

And, if Froggy Marlowe’s song about half the girls being guys it true, I’m sure a lot will follow.

5. Mercia McMahon on April 21st, 2007
Sometimes during grid maintenance I pop over to There.com, which markets itself as supeior to Second Life because of voice. Maybe its because I am a newbie in There, but my experience is that very few use voice There.

Veronica’s attitude is typical of what the Transgender Resource Centre seeks to oppose, namely the presumption that all transgendered people are on a journey to full transistion. Rather being transgendered is to be one a spectrum and you have “arrived” when you have found contentment with yourself NOT when you have legally become female. Sorry, Veronica, you’re just plain wrong, you can even be trangendered without wearing a dress!

Mercia McMahon
Non-Tranisitioning Male to Female
(the above may change but it is my currrent contentment)

6. Yahriel on April 21st, 2007
At first, the news of voice chat had me very worried, as an FTM (female-to-male. *very* under-represented), even if only in SL. Voice threaten that entirely. I’m not on T. My voice isn’t low no matter how I talk.

But then I step back a look at it – how many people will have computers, sound cards, and mics able to handle Voice? How many people simply can’t afford new hard/software, even a mic? How many RL men are running around as escorts in miniskirts? I think there will be a lot of NON-use for this feature. It crosses the lines betweet First and Second life, and to put it “breaks the illusion”.

I can see it being picked up for commercial use – SL companies holding meetings with Voice, or inworld universities holding lectures. The Lindens themselves my do a Town Hall in Voice someday. But as far as everyone, everyday, all the time? Not happening, at least not anytime soon.

7. Julian Paster on April 21st, 2007
This is aimed at “Veronica”:

It’s really not up to you to decide how “serious” I or anyone else happens to be.

The whole of myself as a TG person stretches far beyond what I happen to be wearing or what my voice sounds like.

I am ever so thankful I don’t view myself or others within the same narrow-minded limitations as you.

8. Veronique Lalonde on April 22nd, 2007
I have to come to the defence of the writer with nearly the same name as mine. 🙂 Notice that Veronica was specifically writing about those in transition. This does not mean all transgender people, and she didn’t say that it did. I tend to agree that for people who follow a hormone regime, undergo surgical procedures, change their name, and generally alter everything about their gender, it only makes sense to master a new voice as well.

There are, of course, many transgender people who are not transitioning, and for them the question of voice is quite different.

To Yahriel: I wish I had found at least one FTM to interview! The announcement to the Transgender Resource Center group list did not get me IMs from any FTMs. I would love to have included that perspective!

9. Sophia Martynov on April 23rd, 2007
Veronica pointed out that anyone who is serious about transition can learn voice. I don’t know whether or not that’s correct – but even if it is, there’s something that I think she’s failing to consider.

Voice training may be doable by any serious person who *knows* she is trans — but what about those who are figuring it out (as the original article pointed out)?

Let’s say a male-bodied person (for example) knows that “he” has a nagging desire to fill a female role – and “he” knows that this nagging desire has caused “him” a lot of depression and anxiety over the course of “his” life —- but hasn’t figure out that “he” is in fact she? Then “he” comes to SL, and creates a female avatar, hoping that this way “he” can get this wanting to be female out of “his” system. Only while interacting on SL as a femle “he” realizes that it *isn’t* getting it out of “his” system, but rather, making it clear to “him” that “he” needs to transition in RL as well. Only *then* will “he” realize that “he” is in fact she.

This way, a precious transexual girl can realize what she is. If she can get through this stage.

However, if she comes to SL knowing that voice is a part of SL, she might be deterred from signing on with a female avatar. At this stage, it is unreasonable to expect her to have trained her voice — or even to install voice-morphing software (unless it’s built in to the SL program).

As for the argument that this will allow SecondLife to be a safe place to practice voice, I don’t buy that either. We already have both Skype and Gizmo. Adding voice, therefore, in this area would be sacrificing a unique trait of SL in order to give it an ability that is redundant when we already have Skype and Gizmo.

10. Mercia McMahon on April 23rd, 2007
Veronique nice of you to stand up for Veronica, but she is not just talking about transistioning. Quote “old cross-dressers *and* late transisitioners” or “anyone can have face surgery *or* wear a dress” in both cases examples are given that reflect tvs. At the very least she belittles tses who used to be tvs. And this before we even get onto the area of those androgynes who *deliberately* choose a non-complete transition. Even if she was only talking about complete tranistioners, what relevance does the comment have to an article about those who do have concerns about voice?

11. Veronique Lalonde on April 24th, 2007
You’re right, Mercia. I guess I paid attention to “late transitioners” and not to “old cross-dressers.” Ouch! That’s mean. And wrong. Cross-dressers aren’t the same as transsexuals. Cross-dressing is about clothing, not necessarily voice or “passing.”

I have a feeling there might need to be more stories on this topic, because there still seems to be confusion, misunderstanding, and dogmatism. The transgender category is broad and incredibly varied. Enlightened folks need to remember that and realize that one transgender person isn’t necessarily like another.

12. Casidy Craig on May 9th, 2007
I have a feeling that voice will not take off in a big way in SL, because there are so many people with many, many reasons not to use voice. Aside from gender differences, there’s the privacy issue, and difficulty of use, even people who may have hearing or speech disabilities. I am non-transitioning f2m (I pass as male, just, but for various reasons am not transitioning) and from the outset I decided that while my avatar would be male I am open about being transgender and it is included on my profile in-game. Personally I am planning to give voice a try – as I’m openly trans there’s no reason to hide my voice at all. I realise I’m very much in the minority here though.

13. anonymouse on May 16th, 2007
Voice gives away more than gender. How about social class and race? We all make snap decisions based on hearing a voice. We may gage gender first but also overall intelligence, general age, aggressiveness, sincerity, and on and on. So much is exposed in a voice that this will totally change how sl is used. It is no longer so much about using your imagination. But, hey,I hated it when talkies first came out;). I guess we will all have to adapt or leave.

14. Butterfly on May 22nd, 2007
i will die when voice starts in SL.
i have a lot of friends now, a sl-boyfriend, bussiness, but no one knows my real gender.
One day i will dissapear and all my fantasy and rich world will end.

15. Anonymous on May 23rd, 2007
I am a male who loves to be female in SL with no desire to be female in RL that i am aware of. I’m not sure what the technical name for someone like me would be.

I have fallen in love with a few other SL females and have felt such beautiful longings for them. Sadly, I told one of my girlfriends that I was a male in RL and it totally destroyed the relationship, even though she was prepared to give it a go. This sent seizmic waves through my SL character. I now feel guilty when women confide in me, and horrible when I hear about how disgusted they are with males who pose as females.

I love the richness of SL life as a female, but fear that I will have to transition to being a male (trans-trans-gender?) when voice arrives. I have tried being male on SL but the experience feels impoverished by comparison. There is the perception that all males are just interested in one thing. Many women write in their profiles that they won’t even talk to males and the range of clothing avaiable is very limited. Shopping just isn’t any fun!

I believe that i have learned to be far more tolerant in RL in my views towards females and TG males. I have become softer and more emotional and i love everything that I am learning from this experience. I feel that it has rounded me out as a person, and I will miss it very much. I feel like crying just by thinking about it.

Good things don’t last i guess.

16. Tadpole on May 27th, 2007
I’m a genetic male who is female in SL. My self view is kind of androgynous. I see myself as “me”, rather than a man or a woman, and have previously felt I could happily live in either role. I have crossdressed, and pass pretty well in public as a female (a slight frame and being short help enormously LOL). I loved that feeling, but never really had the opportunity to mix with genetic girls in that context. In SL I have lots of friends (mainly female, plus one or two males), and it feels so right being accepted unquestionably as female. That life will end if voice becomes a major way to communicate and there is no effective way of sounding like my SL personality should.

17. Lorelei Mission on June 5th, 2007
I run a sim with a popular destination (traffic points 40,000 a day). My security personnel deal almost daily with visitors getting into arguments with each other, harassing each other, stalking each other, as well as classic griefing. We deal with complaints by reviewing the chat logs. I’m seriously considering disabling Voice on my land because Voice would leave no Chat Log, making it impossible for me to determine who’s harassing who. I’ll bet a lot of other land owners will disable Voice on their land, too. If that happens then Voice won’t be very popular, so people who don’t buy mics will not be looked at askance.

18. anonymous2 on June 10th, 2007
just to echo the sentiments of ‘anonymous’ above.

the whole thing just helps me to explore a different side of my emotional being and i will miss it, should it come to that. i hope not.
one odd effect is that it has mellowed me out noticeably in rl…maybe because i’m able to express supressed….ooooh thingies…(not good with psychobabble).

i feel that, apart from anything else, voice would remove the dreamlike quality from sl…replacing the music or the stately quiet of my sl home with the usual inane whittering of real life.

also on a practical point i play at night and will wake the kids up, rabbiting into a headset.

thanks for this forum. i’m glad there are others who feel the same threat i do. cheers. :))

19. Snag on June 12th, 2007
This may not be a specifically a TG issue – What about the use of voice for those whose primary language is no English. When they type in English you have time to read and try and understand what they may be trying to say through spelling errors but with poor quality voice giving you less time to digest what they are trying to say it will be like talking to someone down a bad phone line. This is going to be a much more common problem for those that live on the Eastern side of the Atlantic where because of Time Zone issue we tend to meet friends with a wider variety of native languages.

20. Mockie on June 24th, 2007
I don’t think I will use voice outside of my djing, simply because it is too difficult and breaks the illusion. My avatar is extremely sultry and evocative, and my voice is high pitched and effervescent. My TV and TS friends, as well as my male friends who use female avatars because it is fun won’t be on voice either. I would be in the minority of my social group.

21. LaeMiQian on June 24th, 2007
The way things are going ATM, the easiest excuse for not using voice is to claim to be using the Linux alpha client (even if you aren’t) 😉

22. McCoy on June 25th, 2007
“I am a male who loves to be female in SL with no desire to be female in RL that i am aware of. I’m not sure what the technical name for someone like me would be.”

Me too, and I think the word is ‘Omnisexual’. I would suspect that, like me, you enjoy the double edged sword of on the one hand being a ‘woman’ ( and even feeling the part ), yet on the other hand still being a real life male who can enjoy the woman as a male enjoys a woman. Us omnisexuals get the best of both worlds in SL…and I love it.

Its a pity we always have to be ‘anonymous’, as I’m sure there are characters in SL who would just adore my female SL character even knowing I’m a man. But the trouble is, if you give the game away to just one person you risk all of SL knowing. And that’s the real risk with voice. My sweet babe avatar is not going to be so appealling coming across sounding like Howard Keel. Never mind the illusion for others…..it would ruin the illusion for me !

I agree with the comment about the richness of life as a female on SL. But I don’t think voice is going to end all that. All it really means is having to use the same subtle tricks one uses for not revealing RL info ( or rather…..making it up….I mean, I am not really female, 25, from Manchester ) to find some excuse or reason not to use voice. Its just another challenge for us male-as-female role players to overcome, and most of us are well used to that by now.

23. Anonymous Lurker on June 25th, 2007
I really feel bad for everyone here who will be affected by this. However, all hope is not lost…

To my experience, one can develop a female voice with a lot of training, patience and getting to know your own voice. I’ve been able to get a mildly feminine voice (and voice mannerisms) with a lot of practice, even without any voice training tools.

I’m in touch with the transgender scene and I know of Melanie Anne’s “how to develop a feminine voice” is very useful in developing a female voice if you truly need to pass with voice chat:

http://www.heartcorps.com/journeys/voice.htm

24. McCoy on June 27th, 2007
I really don’t see why anyone should be ‘affected’. As far as I am concerned, those who will insist on voice join the augmentalist crowd ( the sort who ask you for age, sex, location as the very first thing they ask )….and in my books augmentalists go on immediate mute anyway.

25. anon on August 1st, 2007
I am in agony today. As the time approaches when my darling girl must disappear. OMG its painful. I love my female avi so much. She is so beautiful, warm and full of love for all. She has given so much pleasure to both men and women in SL. She has taught me so much more about the female gender. I had to go for a drive yesterday and reflect upon what this whole experience has meant to me. The end of a most wonderful era? The tears flowed freely down my cheeks as i drove, alone with my pain, as no one in in my RL circle would even remotely understand.

26. McCoy on August 3rd, 2007
No……anon……don’t disappear. Stick around. Hell…you probably know or have seen my own avatar on SL as ( shock horror ) I myself am one of the best known female avatars on SL and only a very tiny percentage even remotely suspect that I might be a transgender man !

I fully agree about the ability of TG men to create not only beautiful, but also warm and loving characters. Its been an amazing experience being such a person on SL…and I have no intention of it ending. It has truly been a wonderful experience.

Of course few understand. It’s extremely prevalent that many ( mistakenly ) assume that a male playing a female must be ‘gay’. In fact a true gay on SL would simply be a male avatar and head for the gay clubs. Transgender is quite different….as far as a TG person is concerned, he IS a woman on SL and is not ‘pretending’. That’s something you and I may grasp, but dont expect the rest of the world to.

Do not let anyone force you into having to use voice to ‘prove’ that you are a woman. I myself am extremely lucky, as I have a RL female friend who understands and who has done some voice for me on SL. But strangely enough, that just made me turn even more against voice in SL. Why should I have to ‘prove’ anything to anyone ?

The whole basis of SL is to be whoever you want to be. Those of use who believe in that concept should be standing up against the augmentalists ( people who try to bring RL into SL ) and telling them to go to hell. Instead of people like us leaving….we should be making a stand to reclaim SL as the ‘your world….your imagination ‘ that it is supposed to be.

27. D.E.B. on August 5th, 2007
Am an RL male playing a female AV for near one year now, as an immersive experience. This has introduced me to elements of my psyche that I bearly even suspected existed. As McCoy above pointed out “IS a woman on SL and is not ‘pretending’”.

The advent of voice has been worrying for some months & is now here. I have recently downloaded and experimented with MorphVOX – it is very far from convincing, and, although it apprears to be the market-leader (or at least brings up the most Google hits), the results it produces are practically unusable in this regard.

This was my last hope and I feel heartbroken. I also feel a degree of grief at the immenient “death” of this newly-discovered aspect of myself, expressed safely and anonymously via. a female AV within SL. That I feel such I way is a big surprise & shock.

I will deeply miss her/me.

28. Bry on August 5th, 2007

I have 3 persona M,F and Tg.

My male is ok but cannot get to chat to any women who feel mena re after one thing only.

My other two persona have enabled me to develope as a complete person, I enjoy flirting but mt male hardly gets a chance. Whilst voice may be there SL is about your mind and ability to communicate….voice will only ruin it…

Lots of noise no one can understand.
I iwll sta y and enjoy SL but will not talk.
IN SL I am beautiful in body and spirit…

29. McCoy on August 6th, 2007“I will deeply miss her/me.”

There’s absolutely no reason why you should leave.

Quite the contrary….I’ve met an increasing number of females ( not just TG males but people who I am quite certain are RL females ) on SL who refuse to use voice. I think people need to get over the ‘gender police ‘ aspect of thinking that refusing to use voice automatically means one is hiding something.

Its very easy to feel pressurised, especially as I know a few ‘women only’ sites ( but it is only a few ) where people are taunted about not using voice………..but in my experience it is equally as easy to simply tell people that you dont WANT to….and that you should not have to give any reasons or excuses for what you do….end of discussion !

What SL needs is not all the TGs leaving….but them taking a collective stand and joining with others ( including many RL females ) who refuse to be pressurised.

I, for one, have no intention of leaving. I’ve been on SL long enough now that most of the many people I know unquestioningly think I’m a woman as I’ve developed ’stealth’ to a fine art. Its only the odd person who ocassionally hints that they’d like ‘proof….and frankly I can easily just slip that sort off my friends list or just unclick the option that shows when I’m online.

Its worth pointing out that a lot of males on SL dont use voice either, and even if I was logging on as a male…..I would not use voice anyway. So not using voice doesnt actually prove anything.

30. Veronique Lalonde on August 6th, 2007
I agree with McCoy. It’s not the time for panic or grieving, and it’s certainly not the time for leaving. There are many, many reasons for not using voice: computer in a shared room, sound such as TV nearby, others in the house are sleeping, or simply because of a preference for full immersion in an imaginary world. I’m sure there will be difficulties, and some people demanding proof, but SL is a big world, and I think there’s going to be room for everyone. We shall see, but in order to do that, you have to stick around.

31. anonymous on August 7th, 2007
i’m female with a male AV… i have many friends and a beautiful GF on SL… and they all have no idea i’m female in RL.. as said earlier, it is easy to mask who we are (i have a male version RL photo of myself) in SL.. living the “fantasy” or the “wanted world” we desire will be lost with voice… my SLGF has told me she doesn’t want me to use voice if i don’t want to, but she does.. in time.. this will become an issue.. voice has made me feel like a lying bitch instead of the man i created in SL. I feel bad for the people i’ve misled… if morphing voice is not an option… i really don’t know what will happen to my circle of friends.

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