Introduction: Researching online worlds: challenging media and communication studies
Keywords:online worlds, space, place, mediatization, World of Warcraft, Second Life, Facebook, Arto
AbstractDigital media and network communication technology have not changed this setup, but rather have opened the possibility for encountering and experiencing additional types of worlds and performing additional types of spatial practices. Being situated online and being globally networked with the possibility of both synchronous and asynchronous communication, digitally mediated worlds provide possible interactions between users which are radically more independent of time and place than the ones facilitated by older media. From this perspective, the concept of online worlds both challenges and broadens our understanding of how media shape the world and how the media technology creates new social structures.
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