Virtual Reality and the Avatar: Assessing the Second Life of the Body

By Clifford Devin Deaton.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Predominantly an analysis of the internet world “Second Life”, this paper addresses the ontological distinctions between reality and the virtual first from a theoretical standpoint, and then moves to a discussion of the virtual body in Second Life. Using the diverse theories of Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Levy, Issac Balbus, and the literary work of Niel Stephenson, this paper follows the virtual body from its creation, to its insertion in the online virtual world Second Life.

Keywords: Second Life, Subjectivity, Virtual Reality, Baudrillard, Internet, Virtual Worlds

Global Studies Journal, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.81-92. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.785MB).

Clifford Devin Deaton

Graduate Student, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, USA

I have been involved in my own academic project to better comprehend the state of human subjectivity in the modern/postmodern era. In studying theory and history, I have found that art and the expression of human creativity is the surest avenue to comprehend the human condition. Whether it is the text of a novel or a history, the digital world, film and music, or the more traditional arts of painting, sculpture and architecture, art gives us insight into how the human being confronts, interprets, and copes with the trials of an increasingly overwhelming world. I feel that my strength comes from my thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to the question of human subjectivity.

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