I meant to blog on this last week, but I honestly was so exhausted at that time, that I have only just recently come to terms with how I dealt with the issues and how it affected me.
Over the last month, as many as 6 of my friends have, one way or another, revealed themselves to be alts of other characters that I am friends with. A few, I discovered by accident, another I discovered on my own, and the others I was completely taken by surprise.
I guess the common theme here is, SL (and the internet in general) allows you to annonmously adopt other personae, allowing you, if you so chose, to explore parts of your own self that you feel this simulation affords you that freedom to do.
I try to take it in stride. I know some people take it more seriously, and consider such a discovery to be a horrible betrayal of trust.
I guess I try to take a reserved or pragmatic approach. For me, I sort of consider it a private matter, as long as the "deception" did not involve using me or my friendship at a tool to do someone else or me harm. Do I LIKE that a friend has with held that he's had an alt interacting with me.. no, I don't "like" it. But if they have not abused me, worked against me, or tried to gain some advantage over me or my interests and friends, its not as big a deal to me.
I would hope that my friends realize the sort of person I am, and not with hold this sort of thing from me. I'm not going to call them down for being less than forthcoming over a private matter. Things aren't always cut and dried, but it depends on how I was treated and how they behaved in this other persona.
I know that there are indeed those that simply use their alts to experience SL in privacy when their "main" avatar possibly becomes 1) too popular 2) embroiled in "drama" or 3) genuinely dislike their avi and they want to no longer "be" that person.
One friend makes no bones about his identity - in fact both of his avatars are a dance team - its fantastic to watch Fire and Ice. I can't say enough how much of a grin I get out of it.
I guess, in the end, we are on SL for our own reasons, and despite what we may think the reasons are of those that are "close" to us, we don't always know what is going on behind the eyes of the avatar we're talking to. Each and every avatar, for the most part (bots not included) has a brain somewhere on the other end of that connection, making decisions, feeling emotions, experiencing connections with others. I've always said this is a giant playground of non-accountability and fantasy exploration. The only people you will have to account to are those that you abuse or hurt if you are not careful in what you do. If you don't really care or think SL is just a game, then you will not really get the point I'm trying to make. But if you do care about the people that you interact with.. just remember they do have feelings, and your actions have consequences. Sometimes those consequences are mild or even beneficial. Others can be massive flaming conflagrations.
In the end, its your choice how you chose to interact with others, and the amount of respect you chose to show, and its none of my business how you do those things unless you chose to make it my business - so tread carefully on my emotions please, if you are an alt.. honestly.. you're not an alt are you? Are you?
"Are you your own alt?"
I reserve the right to be upset and emotional if I find out you are an alt, regardless of my declarations in the article above. XD