Avant-Garde and Subversion in an Online 3D World

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Maria Bäcke
Title: Avant-Garde and Subversion in an Online 3D World
Conference name: Under the Mask: Perspectives on the Gamer
Year: 2008
City: Luton, UK
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning (Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad)
School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.tks.bth.se/
Authors e-mail: mwb@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: The 3D online world Second Life provides ample opportunities for both role-play and social interaction. Moreover, the relative lack of explicit game-rules (at least initially) on the part of the creator, Linden Lab, provided the gamers with a carte blanche to be anyone they want and give them the freedom to do almost anything. It has become clear, however, that Linden Lab has found reasons for making alterations in their legislative framework. Additionally, local game rules are being developed in many places and there are huge differences in how these rules are maintained and enforced.
Using theories of the avant-garde (Greenberg, Poggioli, Bürger) as a stepping stone, as well as Manuel Castells’ four-layered theory of Internet cultures (the techno-meritocratic, the hacker, the virtual communitarian and the entrepreneurial culture), my intention is to explore the actions of, and the attitudes towards, the type of digital avant-garde that is exemplified by gamers/hackers/griefers/deviants. I will look at this both on a "global level" and on a local level, where communities and sim owners use different strategies to control their land and gamers’ behaviour on it. The global data will be taken from the”Incident Management Report” which is issued by the Second Life Governance Team on violation against Linden Lab rules. Additionally, I will carry out interviews with sim owners and community representatives, as well as with some of those who are labelled grievers. I will also look at blogs and articles that address the issue of grievers and disruptive behaviour in an online world.
Subject: Computer Science\Effects on Society
The Humanities\English
Human Work Science\Human Computer Interaction
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