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Mapping virtual worlds

Abstract

Virtual worlds are many and varied. In investigating the scope of virtual communities, it is important to understand social and theoretical issues that impact online participants. Such issues as gender, ontology, socio-technological integration, and corporeal interface all impact exploration of virtual worlds.

Key words

theory

hyperreality

globalization

gender

actor-network theory

transhumanism

Theory v. reality

So: what is a virtual world? We can tackle the question from many different directions. There are the metaphysical concerns about whether an experience in a virtual world is any less real than an experience in the conventional/consensual world of Real Life. How real is the virtual or our experience ...

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