In relating Hayles to the Second Life/Skype experience, I will have to admit that, as a posthuman, the visuality of the experience is inextricable.  I was thinking about the evolution of electronic entertainment, and how our dependence has grown on the visual aspect for conceptualization.  Take for instance, radio shows, such as Gunsmoke, Superman, and Sherlock Holmes.  Children and adults alike used their imaginations to conjure up the images as the hosts were “announcing” the action.  In the Skype/Second Life relationship, I found it extremely hard to picture what was occurring by audio description alone, due to the obscure nature and lack of sign/signifiers and schema that would produce an accurate image of the action/environment.  Therefore, I can say that as much as audio is important in conversing and sharing experiences in a posthuman world, the visuality of it is going to rank closely up there in necessity.

I was disappointed that Hayles’ text didn’t address the gender-bending aspect of a posthuman’s interaction with machines.  What makes SL so interesting to me is that, while we are still upholding gender norms by producing avatars that embody gender-specific actions, gestures, characteristics, anatomy, etc., users are given the opportunity to explore alternate modes of being, somewhat like Judith Butler’s exploration of cross-dressing/drag in _Gender Trouble_.  She poses the question that, “Will the posthuman preserve what we continue to value in the liberal subject, or will the transformation into the posthuman annihilate the subject” (281).  In posthuman environments such as SL, it seems that the agency given to the liberal subject will infact maximize the subject’s ability to remain liberal, instead of annihilating the subject’s existence altogether.  Even though we are limited by the cultural constraints of gender-specific norms (those created inside and outside of the environment due to the inscription/incorporation binary Hayles refers to on pages 198 and 199) and those parameters set by the creators of the games (whether they realize they are indulging these norms or not), users are provided an opportunity to not only explore, but embody and live a second life that in a human environment, may not have been possible due to the punishability of certain choices.

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