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Immersion vs. augmentation debate is based on a false dichotomy. While ago, somebody put the wrong definitions of those terms in public and, as mobilising people in camps and making them fight is always easy thing to do, we now have a verbal battle that leads nowhere except in deeper misunderstanding of what is going on in virtual worlds.


Immersion and augmentation are not extremes of the same spectrum
. Actually, to fully explore and experience second life, one has to be both. SL is a platform, it is a tool for communication (in broadest possible sense due to its complexity and diversity of activities possible with it). With that in respect, it is augmetative tool, out humans extend themselves into virtual world.

But that world is very different than meatspace our bodies exist in. It is another culture. And to access that world, that culture, one have to immerse in. That doesn’t mean that we have to hide our humans there (though that is an option and can be exercised for many reasons).

I hope that it is clear that common attitude that we all fall somewhere on the spectrum and that we define our existence in VW by standing closer to one of the extremes is not so natural anymore. We, each of us, live here both augmented and immersed. Declining one of the principles means we live incomplete lives. Being a false “immersionist” is living without our physical part, a large and important part of our existence. On the other hand, being false “augmentationsist” is living like a tourist in the foreign culture. Visiting but lacking the true experience of the place we are in.