Authoring the Intimate Self: Identity, Expression and Role-playing within a Pioneering Virtual Community

Resource type
Date created
2008
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
We examine Traveler, a social-based 3D online virtual community with over ten years of continuous community use, as a case study. Traveler is a client-server application allowing real-time synchronous communication between individuals over the Internet. The Traveler client interface presents the user with a shared, user created, virtual 3D world, in which participants are represented by avatars. The primary mode of communication is through multi-point, full duplex voice, managed by the server. This paper reflects on the initial design goals of the developers in the mid 1990s to emulate natural social paradigms and, more recently, reports on how the online community uses distance attended multi-point voice and open-ended 3D space construction to express themselves both on a personal level and collaborative level to facilitate a tight socially based community. This paper situates the historical importance of Traveler within the framework of contemporary virtual worlds and provides insights into the ways that this software platform might influence next-generation virtual communities.
Document
Published as
DiPaola, S., & Turner, J. (2008). Authoring the intimate self: Identity, expression and role-playing within a pioneering virtual community. Loading, 2(3), 1-14.
Document title
Authoring the intimate self: Identity, expression and role-playing within a pioneering virtual community
Date
2008
Volume
2
Issue
3
First page
1
Last page
14
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
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You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes; You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
Member of collection
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dipaola-authoringtheintimateself.pdf 769.36 KB