My dad always said I could be whatever I wanted to be…

…and that’s especially true of the Internet, where a false persona is only a few mouse clicks away. Witness this slide show of real people and the avatars they use in online games.

I don’t know what it says about me, but I’m more uncomfortable being anonymous online than I am being myself. I even spent quite a bit of time during my Second Life experiments trying to get my avatar to look like me.

I think it goes back to being a newspaper editor, and refusing to print any letters that arrived unsigned. You got something to say? Say it as yourself, or give me a darn good reason why you’re hiding behind a false name, or I see no particular reason to listen to you.

Or maybe it’s because I do all my dressing-up-in-costumes and pretending-to-be-someone-else on stage.

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