Monday, October 20, 2008

Research Presentation

I'm currently preparing a presentation — "The Weaving of the 3D Web" — of my research that I will give on Nov 5th. Visually it will be coloured by the fact that Halloween is approaching (in the physical world as well as in the digital one), but this is a description of my research in writing:

    I explore the construction and management of, and the interaction, competition, collaboration and creativity in, social 3D platforms such as Second Life and Twinity. I study the hierarchical web woven by individuals, communities, groups and developers and how authority and ownership is maintained and enforced, as well as the resistance to it.

Theoretically I rely on Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’s ideas about power, authority and surveillance, and the image and effects of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon. I then move to Alexander R. Galloway’s notion of the egalitarian Internet protocol that has been put to use in very different contexts, by Manuel Castells techno-meritocrats as well as hackers, by the "establishment" as well as the "deviants." My hypothesis is that this type of "neutral" rules can be found on the 3D platforms as well, and that the protocols are then used as means to reach varying ends in this environment as well.

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