There’ s an interesting, somewhat heated discussion in a Flickr discussion forum about the merits of Second Life photographs being posted to the Flickr photo sharing site. For those who don’t know, Flickr has become a tremendous community gathering point for thousands of amateur, expert and professional photographers to share knowledge, feedback, suggestions and encouragement related to photography. (And you thought it was just for free photo hosting!)
Here’s the post that started the whole discussion off, entitled "Second Life aka Sadville People on Flickr":
Seeing the SL people on here with their fake profiles and in game
pictures seems ridiculous. I mean keep that shit in the game, now it’s
spilling out into the web like it is their real life. Anyone feel me on
Lots of others apparently do. Some of the "real" photographers make the typically boring comments about Second Life residents needing to get a real life. Others note that Second Life photos are at least better then World of Warcraft images. There’s some discussion about how you even define what is and is not "photography."
As someone who enjoys both real world and virtual world photography, I don’t really get the debate. I know several skilled real world and virtual world photographers. The skillsets overlap but aren’t the same, just as people who shoot with film versus digital are practicing similar but not identical crafts. I can appreciate the talent, technical competence and artistry involved in the production of an image, whether it emerges from a computer screen or a Hasselblad.
So I find it sad that people choose to disparage the things they don’t understand.