Conclusion: Messing with ‘Home’: Social Experiment, or Us Being Jerks?

January 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

It was getting late, approaching 1:30 am.  We had to end this, so Bobby decides to drop this guy and find another.  As Justine wanders around the Plaza again (in the female avatar form), we notice that Target2 is following us.  So we basically run the hell away from him.  Target2, unfortunately, doesn’t get the hint and gives chase, thinking this some kind of hide-and-seek game.  We’d hide, and Target2 would find us.  It was almost like that scene from The Terminator, when Sarah Connor is in the bar ‘TechNoir’ and she’s hiding from who she thinks is her stalker.  We’d place Justine somewhere, like in a crowd of people, and just watch Target2 as he scans the area.  Once we see him make a beeline for us, we’d get up and run away again.  Every time he’d find us we could hear him say something like, “I found you!”, but in that creepy raspy stalker voice he has.

We’d run everywhere: the Plaza, movie theatre, mall, and he’d still follow.  First it was annoying now it was funny.  Maybe having Carol do the voice was a bit too much.  Target2, just like with LonelyKid, probably thinks it was a real girl they were talking to.  Well, in Target2’s case, this was partially true, since he did speak to a real girl, it was just a bunch of guys directing the action.

Finally, after around 4 hours of messing around in Home, we decided to call it quits.  Yes, it was fun, but it also got me thinking.  In the early days of the Web (I’d say the mid-90’s), there were countless young people online in chat rooms and in other online social sites (I distinctly remember one that was very Home-like, during the days when Netscape ruled the Net).  I remember, because I myself would venture into the occasional chat room and talk with others.  What I was sure to not do was get too attached to my online friends.  You never know who you’re talking to.

Nowadays, we look down upon those who have tried internet dating, even if it is through legitimate online dating websites like e-Harmony.  And the stereotype of the pasty nerd sitting in hi parents’ basement looking at porn and trying to hook up with girls online still persists.  Home, it looks to me, does nothing to curb this.  Our goal, when starting this, was to kick these nerds in their pants.  Yes, it’s true people have met their significant others online.  No, I still do not believe this is the best place to meet someone.  Watching these guys fall over themselves for a virtual woman who seems to be mildly interested in them, made me feel sorry for them.  “Look at all these pathetic people,” we thought.

Now look at us.  We just spent 4 hours trying to pick up dudes just to prove a point.  And we couldn’t even prove it.  What happened was that we got one guy to fall in love, and another to become obsessed.  It might suck when LonelyKid’s messages are never returned (if Bobby sticks to the plan and just ignores him instead of stringing him along again).  It might also suck when Target2’s messages are also ignored.  I do feel bad for them, because they do fit the stereotype of lonely guy sitting alone in his room, his social skills only apparent when he hides behind an avatar.  But I feel bad for us, as well.  We tried to kill someone’s spirits; we tried to humiliate someone.  It may not have been in person, but these things can have real consequences.  Remember the MySpace suicide case?


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