Glad to see Iain Tait is experimenting (and, in the process has found a place to buy genitals).
I just read quite an interesting report by Elizabeth Coverdale called Cyberculture and Gender Identification in Online Chat Communities. She looks at role-play, gender reassignment and in particular digs a little deeper into the language people use when “inworld” (be that in full 3d environments like Second Life or simply chatting over an IM client).
It turns out that men and women have subtle differences in the way they structure a conversation. According to Coverdale, women pepper their conversation with meta-messages design to create a mood, they use phrases like giggles or “lol” more frequently than men with an aim of creating a cocoon of aproval and friendship around the conversation. Men will just say what they want in shorter phrases with little or no introduction.
I can’t say this has been my experience. I find myself often drifting into a world of emoticons when I chat…
My Second Life avatar is currently a young Korean woman and while I’m still just roaming around figuring out the various inworld dynamics I can imagine things could get a little wierd. (If you take a look at Iain’s post and are confused by the pictures, a Google search should give you a clue… and cheesh, I’m reminded I never did find out what the three shells do in Demolition Man)