I tried to be an avatar!

28 Mar 2024 | Research & Business Knowledge

A venture into the parallel realm of the Metaverse, devoid of objectives and lacking a clear sense of self, with the singular aim of transcending the mundane.

By ICG member Stefania Gogna


I approach the parallel world of the Metaverse, without goals and without a clear sense of self, with the sole objective of being other than the contingency: to transform from what-is-and-may-not-be to what-is, period. Without any limits, can you imagine? It means “wherever one wants,” “whatever one wants,” “with whomever one wants,” following in the footsteps of Leibniz.

First things first, the choice of attire: pure white, a minimalist suit reflecting a certain purity of intentions and a small dose of inner narcissism, shamelessly saying “I couldn’t be any better than this.” Decidedly, in an inelegant world, I decide to stand out. Upon reflection, the avatar I chose somewhat resembles me: unkempt hair, never “wigged,” of an imprecise auburn color, and I avoid the rest out of boredom. No footwear: I’ve always detested shoes, just as I don’t love bags. I would like sneakers, rebellious and oversized, and a hot pink backpack: I can’t find them in the inventory, and I’m not capable of creating them out of thin air… oh, how far I am from the infinite being! I give up: better nothing.

Well, after the constructive phase, in which I find myself perfectly comfortable with a me-other-than-me, I begin to explore. I feel a bit embarrassed, a bit idiotic. First stop: g. island. I like it: spacious and luminescent meeting tables and technological equipment for video conferencing. I feel like the Lethe water bubble: there’s no one here anyway. B. island: fantastic! Here, human presence makes me feel less lonely. A big-avatar, with a grand purple dress, is picking flowers… how on earth do you pick fake flowers? And for how long do you do it before deciding that maybe it’s better to go to Trenno Park? True, there are syringes and mosquitoes there. Now what can I do? What else, if not walk in search of omnipotence and indeterminacy? I feel like Siddhartha, actually not finding a useful dimension, an island that suits me.

“Hi, what are you doing?”

It takes me a while to realize that whoever’s trying to talk to me is doing so on the left side of the monitor. His name? Jack! I don’t know how to respond; I’m naturally shy, and truth be told, I don’t want to know anyone. Who knows where he’s writing from, and above all, maybe, he’s doing it from an office, and I’m convinced he’ll have relational problems. And then… and then, is it not apparent, from how I dress and where I am, that I don’t want to deal with anyone? No, mistake! Dada, which is me, is truly a projection of the self, but only I know that. Here’s the first limitation! Andrea said;

“you know, in there, people don’t do what they would really do in real life, they’re not themselves, they’re what they idealize of themselves.”

But no, Andrea, I feel like myself. I’m leaving, poor Jack. He doesn’t seem worried, nor does he start crying when he sees me fly away. Oh well, I’m flying away. Not bad, huh? Perhaps excessive seriousness kills. So be it!

I want to go to a glamorous place; I want to see brightly lit shop windows filled with things, where I can be a specialized hyper-consumer: lingerie. The shock of kitsch. Like at the supermarket. Being present itself in three forms, says Rosmini: ideal being, real being, and moral being, but here I experience a fundamental feeling: a generic sense of identity. The second limitation.