Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ways of being

on the wall

I've been thinking a lot this week about ways of being in online and offline spaces. Annette Markham's idea of internet-as-way-of-being has always really attracted me, but as I begin to think about the interpenetration of online/offline spaces, it's not a big enough concept. In fact, my awareness has been turning on the limitations of online worlds and how subject positions can be highly controlled whether that is by page profiles, avatar designs, layouts or file sizes. I was particularly struck by how so many of the virtual worlds for children, and particularly those that are in actual fact just animated doll-dressing games constitute a very particular heteronormative gender position. As the distinction between online and offline begins to dissolve, how will new citizens come to understand how these subject positions are made and re-made?

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