by Astrid Ensslin, Eben Muse
This book aims to provide insights into how ‘second lives’ in the sense of virtual identities and communities are constructed textually, semiotically and discursively, specifically in the online environment Second Life and Massively Multiplayer Online Games such as World of Warcraft. The book’s philosophy is multi-disciplinary and its goal is to explore the question of how we as gamers and residents of virtual worlds construct alternative online realities in a variety of ways. Of particular significance to this endeavour are conceptions of the body in cyberspace and of spatiality, which manifests itself in ‘natural’ and built environments as well as the triad of space, place and landscape. The contributors’ disciplinary backgrounds include media, communication, cultural and literary studies, and they examine issues of reception and production, identity, community, gender, spatiality, natural and built environments using a plethora of methodological approaches ranging from theoretical and philosophical contemplation through social semiotics to corpus-based discourse analysis.