Meditations sparked by AoIR conference session on State of Internet Studies panel (part of Internet: Critical, IR 10.0). Ess sums up the shift in thinking about identity (echoed by Consalvo): identity play, postmodern, end of meatspace in 1990s – it’s now clear that research into the Internet dominated by the Internet in Everyday Life paradigm. Consalvo comments neatly that educational uses of 2nd Life, etc, started with ‘let’s re-present the classroom – chairs, lecterns etc – in 2nd Life’ but now is considering the manner in which the alternatives (flying, etc) can become educationally useful. So there is something going on in our thinking about, and using the Internet, where we try to mirror ‘real life’ (and thereby define ‘real life’ by saying the Internet isn’t real life but simulates it), or we go through the mirror into a different, twisted place. Current dominant research and analysis probably rejects both of these alternatives, and yet do people using the Internet think as we do? Linking back to Buchanan’s comments on research ethics: agency of participants in research is crucial; and agency links to identity. Thinking… Discussions of user-generated content (UGC) construct the user in ways that assume a more traditional, … Click to read more
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