Wednesday, September 26, 2007

M3 - Saturday Morning

Shaowen Bardzell from Indiana University began the morning session by talking about a very interesting (ongoing) study of Goreans in Second Life. The focus was on how they "live," hierarchical differences and code-shifting depending on the where interaction takes place.

The next presentation was my own, in which I discussed the construction of digital space in Second Life and how people's creations are, on the one hand, shaped by programming and choices made by Linden Lab, but, on the other, also influenced by other sources. I noticed that three different categories of space: one where SL is primarily seen as a work tool for profit or teaching, another where the main goal is a detailed, homogenuous and highly visual space, and a third category where a homogenuous space is created in order to enable a more organized fantasy and facilitate game-play (such as the Gorean example).

The last presenter was Lars-Erik Berg from Skövde University College who illuminated quite a few useful psychology concepts that seem useful when studying identity construction in a game research context. "Reflected identity is processual, flexible, narrative, but still bound up in a “Gestalt”. Computer games are finally seen as an area for especially “washed” or pure identity reflection".

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