Saturday, November 15, 2008

Unreasonable grounds

There's a certain amount of jeering about the Second Life divorce case, lots of scare quotes around cyber "adultery" or "cheating". True enough that usually I would agree and I do find it a rather ludicrous end to a marriage, on the basis of a character's behaviour in a game. I wouldn't consider cyber flirting or cyber sex as infidelity usually either, more as wank-material.

It seems to me, however, that since the couple's relationship began and was largely played out through the game, it's no wonder the woman took finding her husband's avatar having sex with a virtual prostitute and later indulging in an intimate friendship as seriously as she did. It seems to me that their online lives were as real to them* (or certainly to her) as their actual lives together. Clearly having a virtual relationship with someone, to her mind (and more importantly, in her experience), leads to an actual relationship; perhaps it is an actual relationship to her.

Anyway, when confronted, apparently he "confessed he'd been talking to this woman player in America for one or two weeks, and said our marriage was over and he didn't love me any more, and we should never have got married" and this speaks volumes for why a divorce isn't so very unreasonable.

I daresay you could recover from a cyber affair alright (scare quotes or not) however seriously you took it**, but there's not much room to manoeuvre with 'I don't love you and we should never have married'. Although he was probably dead right on that score.

It's a funny old world. Or new world. Or virtual world. Or strange blend of the two. Oooh where's reality and where's the internet, it's bluuuuurrrrrring. (But not for me!)

* weirdly/sadly/unusually/signs-of-the-times-ly? Delete as appropriate.
** Rightly or wrongly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know this story. But cyber-flirting is definitely a no-no I think, whether you meet up and do anything in real life or not. I think, if someone on husband's blog is all "flirt flirt flirt kissy kissy xxxx" with my husband, I will get annoyed with her and get annoyed with him too for not saying "Look I'm married, I don't think that's appropriate." When I posted a lot on a messageboard of men and women from all over the world, Mrs was a part of my name and I made it very clear I was not there for flirting. Not serious flirting anyway and I would be out on the board and not hidden away in intimate private messages with people. Also, if I know married men in real life I don't really want to have them on Facebook too because I don't want to be accused of anything or to make their partners uncomfortable. It's just common sense really, who needs the hassle of it? :)