Constructies en conventies van sekse in Virtual Reality


  • Schaap,Frank


Internet, Spatial analysis, Role playing, Games, Computer mediated communication, Embodiment, Virtual reality, Sex role identity, Social interaction


Constructions and Conventions of Gender in Virtual Reality. This article discusses the discrepancies between the notion of cyberspace as a disembodied space and the everyday embodied experience of the people who play a character in a role playing MUD (Multi-User-Domain) a textual virtual world on the Internet. The author draws on material from his ethnographic fieldwork to illustrate how players construct and play their role-playing characters. Central to the analysis are the construction of a gendered identity for characters and the role of gender in the online interaction, both between the characters and between the players. The co-construction of gender and the physical body in the everyday offline world largely obscures the sociocultural processes that create masculinity and femininity in interaction. However, the absence of the physical body and the representation of the player by the virtual body of his or her character make those processes much more visible. Important findings of the paper are that online, contrary to the understanding of cyberspace as a disembodied space where 'you can be whoever you want to be,' everyday gender conventions and the offline gender of the player determine the convincingness of and the sociocultural meanings attached to the players' performance of their character. 18 References. Adapted from the source document.

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