Chapter . Car Is Avatar Is Prosthetic


“The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man.”

 --Marshall McLuhan

McLuhan, a top Canadian media theorist, pointed out that the car “extended” the human foot as a prosthesis. McLuhan’s point was that our technology, as we use it, fundamentally changes us. Avatars are, like cars, another example of a prosthetic technology that is changing us.

Cars and avatars are quite similar: Cars and avatars are both interactive, they represent us socially and culturally, they transport us, they’re an expression of personality, they allow us to get things done, we travel in them, we talk in them, and you can buy useful and/or decorative accessories for them that often cost ...

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