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Interaction and space in the virtual world of Second Life


Berger, Manuel; Jucker, Andreas H; Locher, Miriam A (2016). Interaction and space in the virtual world of Second Life. Journal of Pragmatics, 101:83-100.

Abstract

Interaction takes place in a spatial context and in many ways is influenced or shaped by this context. Interaction also discursively creates space. There are buildings and rooms that are designed to facilitate specific forms of interaction as for instance in the case of lecture theatres, seminar rooms or assembly halls. The architecture of such rooms, including not only their shape but also the arrangement of furniture and technical equipment, provides affordances that facilitate and structure lectures, class-room discussions and debates. Moreover, interactants position themselves in space to establish co-presence and joint attention. In online virtual worlds, the spatial context of interaction has to be graphically recreated. The various aspects of this context, however, are selectively re-created. Some of them serve similar functions as in physical life in that they facilitate or structure interaction while others merely serve as flags to indicate the type of interaction the participants are engaged in. In this paper we analyze the recreation of interactional architecture and spatial positioning in one specific virtual world, i.e. Second Life, in order to explore the ways in which the interactants deal with the differences between physical life and virtual life.

Abstract

Interaction takes place in a spatial context and in many ways is influenced or shaped by this context. Interaction also discursively creates space. There are buildings and rooms that are designed to facilitate specific forms of interaction as for instance in the case of lecture theatres, seminar rooms or assembly halls. The architecture of such rooms, including not only their shape but also the arrangement of furniture and technical equipment, provides affordances that facilitate and structure lectures, class-room discussions and debates. Moreover, interactants position themselves in space to establish co-presence and joint attention. In online virtual worlds, the spatial context of interaction has to be graphically recreated. The various aspects of this context, however, are selectively re-created. Some of them serve similar functions as in physical life in that they facilitate or structure interaction while others merely serve as flags to indicate the type of interaction the participants are engaged in. In this paper we analyze the recreation of interactional architecture and spatial positioning in one specific virtual world, i.e. Second Life, in order to explore the ways in which the interactants deal with the differences between physical life and virtual life.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
08 University Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords:Interaction, space, interactional architecture, Second Life, virtual worlds, computer-mediated communication
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:22 Jun 2016 13:15
Last Modified:27 Aug 2017 03:58
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-2166
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2016.05.009

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