Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation

Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation

ISBN-10:
0262015714
ISBN-13:
9780262015714
Pub. Date:
11/04/2011
Publisher:
MIT Press

Hardcover

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Overview

Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation

An examination of our many modes of online identity and how we live on the continuum between the virtual and the real.

Hello Avatar! Or, {llSay(0, "Hello, Avatar!"); is a tiny piece of user-friendly code that allows us to program our virtual selves. In Hello Avatar, B. Coleman examines a crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital: the continuum between online and off-, what she calls the “x-reality” that crosses between the virtual and the real. She looks at the emergence of a world that is neither virtual nor real but encompasses a multiplicity of network combinations. And she argues that it is the role of the avatar to help us express our new agency—our new power to customize our networked life.

By avatar, Coleman means not just the animated figures that populate our screens but the gestalt of images, text, and multimedia that make up our online identities—in virtual worlds like Second Life and in the form of email, video chat, and other digital artifacts. Exploring such network activities as embodiment, extreme (virtual) violence, and the work in virtual reality labs, and offering sidebar interviews with designers and practitioners, she argues that what is new is real-time collaboration and copresence, the way we make connections using networked media and the cultures we have created around this. The star of this drama of expanded horizons is the networked subject—all of us who represent aspects of ourselves and our work across the mediascape.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262015714
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/04/2011
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

B. Coleman is Assistant Professor of Writing and New Media in MIT's Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and Comparative Media Studies. She is Faculty Director of the C3 Game Culture and Mobile Media initiative.

What People are Saying About This

Nicholas Mirzoeff

As engagingly written as it is insightful and eye-opening, Hello Avatar is the indispensable guide to the new era of X-computing.

John Palfrey

In Hello Avatar, Coleman explains to us what is happening at the edges of networked society in profound and revealing ways. She provokes the best in us by pushing the boundaries of our thinking about identity and culture in a digitally mediated world. She manages to operate at the most serious level of theory and the most immediate level of design and practice in the same text. Coleman's new book is a true gift, to the scholar, to the designer, and to the general reader alike.

Endorsement

In Hello Avatar, Coleman explains to us what is happening at the edges of networked society in profound and revealing ways. She provokes the best in us by pushing the boundaries of our thinking about identity and culture in a digitally mediated world. She manages to operate at the most serious level of theory and the most immediate level of design and practice in the same text. Coleman's new book is a true gift, to the scholar, to the designer, and to the general reader alike.

John Palfrey, faculty co-director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

From the Publisher

"As engagingly written as it is insightful and eye-opening,Hello Avatar is the indispensable guide to the new era of X-computing." — Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture,and Communication, New York University; author of The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality

"In Hello Avatar, Coleman explains to us what is happening at the edges of networked society in profound and revealing ways. She provokes the best in us by pushing the boundaries of our thinking about identity and culture in a digitally mediated world. She manages to operate at the most serious level of theory and the most immediate level of design and practice in the same text. Coleman's new book is a true gift, to the scholar, to the designer, and to the general reader alike." — John Palfrey, faculty co-director,Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

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