Recently SL IReporters were asked to investigate the phenomenon of anger in Second Life. Having previously met hannes Breda, psychologist and founder of the "Real and Second Life Confusion" group (see http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-45229
) I decided to ask him to explain the psychological aspects of anger in Second Life. Breda said that "the thing with anger, that everyone knows, is that it is often based on frustration, but what people ignore (is) that it is sometimes also fed by physical and emotional shortcomings in a person. ... As you know there are a lot of reasons to get frustrated in SL. We are participating in it and sometimes not realising that other people are in it only to have fun in their own way so what you see is that people, more than in RL, are making fun of you, teasing you, trying you out, without consideration of who you are and how you could react to those things and as you know it is easy to hurt someone if you are only thinking about your own 'fun'. Anger comes from having deeper 'relations' (or) connections with the other party than just superficially friends." He continued that since coming to Second Life he has observed two categories that can lead to anger: (1) betrayal by a trusted friend or loved one and (2) the discovery that an avatar has been misrepresenting his or her accomplishments, abilities and experiences. The first is a bit easier to understand. Betrayal by someone with whom you have become close can be devastating. The second is not as clear because it is the person who has been misrepresenting himself or herself who becomes angry, not necessarily the person who was misled. This goes back to the emotional shortcomings mentioned by Breda as fueling frustration and causing it to flame up into anger. To quote my colleague Janey Bracken in her report on anger (Virtually Very Angry http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-122969) "The trouble with SL is the fact that you can create this fantastic persona, where you can show off to everyone, impressing them with your knowledge and wisdom, offering advice and sounding very clever, but without having any substance to back it up." It seems to be a common enough occurrence in Second Life. In continuing our discussion Breda went on to say that problems can be exacerbated by the methods of communication in Second Life. We are used to reading the nonverbal communication side of our interactions, but this is not available to us in Second Life. With voice we regain a part of this, but still do not have access to such things as body language to help us decode the messages being sent our way. Human beings are very complex. Those of us who have entered into Second Life are participating in a world without the rules and situations we have come to understand and accept in our real lives. Misunderstandings are bound to occur as we find our way in our new home and because of this it might be best to remember that behind each avatar is another person also trying to find his or her way in our evolving virtual environment.