Page Overview
– Journal Articles
– Media Resources
– Monographs

Boellstorff, Tom. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton UP: 2008.

In many ways, Boellstorff set the ground for thinking about social relations in virtual worlds in his 2-year fieldwork in Second Life. Of particular interest to this project are the chapters on space and personhood. Defining place and defining being in place. This book is invaluable in the myriad participant voices it records, giving direct insight into social and cultural practices in virtual worlds and mapping tendencies and connections between virtual and actual worlds. “Just as it is possible to take virtual worlds in their own terms, so it is possible to take virtual personhoods in their own terms. In both cases, the virtual is shaped in powerful ways by referential and practical relationships to the actual world, but these relationships help constitute the virtual itself” (p122.)

– Newspaper Articles
– Virtual Worlds

Journal Articles

Strutt, Dan, and Rosa Cisneros. “Virtual Relationships: The Dancer and the Avatar.” Theatre and Performance Design, vol. 7, no. 1-2, Apr. 2021, pp. 61–81,

A fascinating essay on the effects (and affects) of new motion capture technology, visual rendering and VR and AR interfaces on choreographic practice and the interrelation between dancer and avatar. The authors argue recent technological advances in motion capture technology and visualizing software along with immersive interfaces in VR and AR have led to the permit a “fluid emotional and affective communication [between performer and avatar]” (62). The authors claim that this advancement shifts the basis of virtual choreography away from mimicry or substitution of direct interaction and movement, to a new terrain in which “it is the way that physical attributes of proportion, gravity, muscularity and force, as well as mental attitude and the vitality of a dancer, are then digitally and aesthetically recomposed into the virtual avatar that can become revelatory” (62).

Walther, Joseph B. and Zijian Lew. “Self-transformation online through alternative presentations of self: a review, critique, and call for research.” Annals of the International Communication Association, vol. 46, mo.3, 2022, pp.135-158,

This paper maps two dominant approaches to the causal function of self-transformation in digital communication technologies: the discursive approach and the embodiment approach. The paper draws on old and new technologies from text-based chat to VR avatars in an attempt to map out differences and inconsistencies between these two analytic approaches. it takes as its starting point the claim that acting as an alternate self online incurs alterations to mind, behaviours, and concepts of self.

Media Resources


Newspaper Articles

Virtual Worlds