The Avatar, The Reader and The Self: Gender and Sexuality in Selected Digital Arenas
Two popular modes of digital mediation are virtual worlds and digital literature. This lecture will introduce both by first providing a brief history of their development and the basics of how they function and convey meaning. At the center of both virtual worlds and digital literature is the concept of interactivity. In this lecture I will provide explanations of how gender and sexuality are performed and represented in the interactive digital environments according to six works; three virtual worlds (Second Life, World of Warcraft, and The Sims) and three works of interactive digital literature (Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson, Facade by Mateas and Stern, and Little Red Riding Hood by Donna Leishman). In order to prepare for the workshop and student work on gender and sexuality in digital areas we will focus on:
- How agency is represented and embodied in the worksWorkshop om genus/sexualitet i olika digitala arenor (virtuella världar, digital litteratur) (2 timmar) Lärare: Jim Barrett In this workshop you will be instructed in creating an avatar in Second Life according to a written abstract (50-150 words) based on gender and sexuality. You will first be asked to develop an avatar identity with a focus on gender and sexuality as a character in the written abstract (this could be an oppositional gender or a transgendered avatar). You will then create an account and choose a default avatar in Second Life and author it yourself according to your abstract (you will need an email for this). Next you will be asked to enter into a social situation with your avatar in Second Life. Finally you will be asked to write a short description of how the you experienced the social situation as your avatar. The performance of gender and how it was received and responded to by others in the social situation are important in this exercise. Consider the visual and gestural ques involved in the social exchange as the avatar. You will submit the short description of the social situation as the avatar and offer some reflections upon it based on the first lecture.
- The concept of reader versus user in relation to the works
- How narrative architecture functions in the works
- The use of perspective and stereotypes in the works
- The role of simulation and narrative in the works
Handledning digitala arenor (2 timmar) Lärare: Jim Barrett