Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dr. Avatar I presume? Anthropologist sheds light on Second Life natives in new book and upcoming Extropia Salon

"Coming of Age in Second Life" author Tom Boellstorff will be featured in this Thursday's Sophrosyne's Salon at 10 am in Extropia. The anthropologist studied Second Life for two and a half years through his ethnographic-collecting avatar Tom Bukowski (who will be appearing in lieu of Mr. Boellstorff at the Salon.)

This book is chock-full of the kind of meaty research I've been craving. It is a goldmine of fascinating narrative accounts informed by well-reasoned and insightful analysis. It sheds light on culture, psychology, community and the possible future.

Here are a few tidbits from the introduction:
  • "[in virtual worlds] our humanity is thrown off balance, considered anew, and reconfigured through transformed possibilities for place-making, subjectivity and community.
  • " worlds are [not] spaces in which we simply work out offline issues and once sorted, happily leave....What happens in virtual worlds often is just as real, just as meaningful, to participants."
  • "The gap between virtual and actual self could reverberate into everyday practices of identification and interaction."
I'm looking forward to meeting Mr. Bukowski in the virtual flesh tomorrow. The event is open to the public, so teleport on down for what will likely be an intriguing discussion.

Botgirl whispers: Hey, Sophrosyne. Now that I'm an Extropia citizen, do I get some kind of special seating?


Vidal Tripsa said...

*Sets to work on a special Futura stool and propped-up sign, "Reserved for Botgirl"*

R. said...

I bring my own special seating with me, eh.

And I never lose any pocket change in the upside-down sofa either.

Anonymous said...

I see Vids has you hooked up already!

Tom is a *terrific* speaker - I'm really looking forward to this one myself!

Tom said...

You are the best! Thank you so much for your kind comments. It took so much time and effort to write this book, and I'm just thrilled when someone finds it interesting or useful. I really appreciate it!

All the best - Tom Boellstorff (Tom Bukowski in sl)

Velicia said...

Sure you get special seating, it's the same special seating we all get ^.^