Can a simple act of cyclical copying becomes a way of developing a personality?
Person to person copying can work as a kind of mimesis.
When it happens across many many iterations it loses the smell of its source.
After a point entities are as complex, natural and dense as ordinary people.
There is a natural selection based preference notification in operation. Only if two entities have a preference for each other, they allow a copy routing to occur.
What does copying entail?
In common parlance, copies are identical images. In play copies are always aggregates. Aggregates are not insecure about harbouring internal inconsistencies, they are not afraid of becoming unstable. They don’t get caught up in the anxiety of losing their personality. The states of instances of copies are unstable, they can aggregate layers and layers of copies and lose their points of equanimity and face self-destruction. Copying indiscriminately, in the wild has its risk.
But a culture based on copying attributes instead of authorship is already more progressive. In a copy based culture things get copied too fast for authorship to even emerge. Events get copied at the thought level, they get copied as circumstances transpire. There is no room for identification and subsequent processes of developing a voice and character. In short individuation does not happen.
In a world of immersive and obsessive copying, there is insulation from the urge to create. Creativity as a reductive force, as a compressive agent does not apply anymore. When we experienced this for a few moments, we realised that life without creativity can be very fulfilling and enriching. Creativity instantly creates a divide between someone who has the urge and someone who does not. When on the other hand copying is the norm and copying is the only way for culture to transmit itself, when creation happens only through copying, at the level of the individual there is nothing that changes. The surface of the individual’s personality is still, serene and devoid of tension.
Copying is also effectively the only solution to the problem of differentiation, community-formation and social disharmony. If everyone is effectively a part of everyone else, then there is no other.
When playful copying happens between characters of a game world, then within a microcosm of a reduced instruction set, you can witness the emergence of personality, of flavour. Within a logical construct, such as a computer game, we can parametrize personality with character attributes. These schemas of characters and their attributes hybridise with the passage of time, as with each encounter an exchange of attributes happens. Character attributes consist of meta-descriptive lists, consisting of tags and strings.
When the end-point is dialogue and the unraveling of puzzles, characters are very useful. As understanding can happen only with characters as filters, a two-way conversation becomes possible only when there is stimulus, process and response. Without characters with their own personality there is no processing possible. Without processing there is no possibility for intelligent response. Instead of embedding our cognition into game-worlds and using avatars only as puppets, we have a real possibility at this point of letting avatars develop their own perspective and capacity for response.