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Behavior Analysis - First Lives Club

            The internet can cause a fusion of the online and the offline self. With certain weak or impressionable personalities, this effect can be more severe. In Margaret Atwood's, "First Lives Club," Marla's personality becomes so closely related with the online world, that she actually believes she is Mary Queen of Scots, and ends up killing her friend who turned out to be Elizabeth the first. What could have caused that tragic end? The concerns regarding the connection between onling and offline lives are challenging the notions of what constitutes a real experience. Marla was influenced by Sal, Cleopatra in her past life, to join the PLAYS site. At first she was skeptical about joining the site. However, when she saw Sal´s fiancé, Marc Antony, or Bob in the real life, she thought it would be a good idea to join in the game so she could date someone. Her pliable personality finally led her to get involved in the character. The persona that Marla developed in the website, became part of her reality; she identified herself with her avatar so much that she bought books to find out about Mary Stewart's life. She wanted to know more, to begin to understand the character from the inside. She started getting so involved with the books that she read, that in her mind, they were memories of her past life.
             After playing on the First Lives Club, Marla started dating some men and having a good time. She was living a more interesting and varied life. Sal had become a successful woman; after marrying Marc Antony, who later died mysteriously, Sal met the Earl of Essex, who was even richer than her late husband. The problem was that, after her, "mourning," period, Sal was not Cleopatra anymore, she was Elizabeth I. That fact led Marla to conclude her friend was actually the person that had killed her in the past. For Marla, by inviting her, Sal's main objective was apparently to show off.

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