It is an idea, this thing we call race. It is interesting to me that race exists even more obviously as a construction in Second Life than in first life. We choose our race here, except that it chooses us. But what do I mean by race? Something that really the word race does not describe. Race is something that people impute in to others, not something that really is intrinsic to a person.
And it is also that there is an appropriation of the characteristics that people impute as race. How much of anti-social transgressive behavior in Second Life is the appropriation of urban African American culture, and how much of avatarization centers around adopting stances, names, and behaviors that would be called "black" in the outside world. The appropriation of, and at the same time submergence of the actual racial characteristics from the visible avatar is important to me, in that at the same time that one sees few African avatars one sees a great deal of behavior which is, overtly and directly, modeled on urban African American behavior. Second Life has a lot of "pimps and hos" parties and places. It is a white place run by white people acting like their fantasy construction of what blackness is.
Now why is this? Why do people who are economically successful enough decide to act in a model which is less so? I'm going to write on this when I am done with some RL things that are taking up my time, because it is a prevalent issue in escorting, since so much of the direct sex trade is modeled on this lower end of the rl sex industry.