COMING OF AGE IN SECOND LIFE BOELLSTORFF PDF

In the book, Boellstorff, or Tom Bukowski his SL avatar , dedicates the first section to outlining the history of virtual worlds before turning to the methodological approach he undertook to conduct his fieldwork. In section two, the author examines the culture of second life under the chapter headings of a place and time b personhood c intimacy and d community. Within the first sub-section, Boellstorff underlines the importance of the visual aspects of Second Life and how a sense of place, increased through landscape and home-ownership, is fundamental to residents. He also comes to understand how sociality is a key reason why the majority of residents remain in Second Life and that this is largely due to the possibility for synchronous interaction with other residents.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds.

Second Life is one of the largest of these virtual worlds. The residents of Second Life create communities, buy property and build homes, go to concerts, meet in bars, attend weddings and religious services, buy and sell virtual goods and services, find friendship, fall in lov Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds. The residents of Second Life create communities, buy property and build homes, go to concerts, meet in bars, attend weddings and religious services, buy and sell virtual goods and services, find friendship, fall in love--the possibilities are endless, and all encountered through a computer screen.

Coming of Age in Second Life is the first book of anthropology to examine this thriving alternate universe. Tom Boellstorff conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so-called real world. He conducted his research as the avatar "Tom Bukowski," and applied the rigorous methods of anthropology to study many facets of this new frontier of human life, including issues of gender, race, sex, money, conflict and antisocial behavior, the construction of place and time, and the interplay of self and group.

Coming of Age in Second Life shows how virtual worlds can change ideas about identity and society. Bringing anthropology into territory never before studied, this book demonstrates that in some ways humans have always been virtual, and that virtual worlds in all their rich complexity build upon a human capacity for culture that is as old as humanity itself. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.

More Details Original Title. Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Coming of Age in Second Life , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Coming of Age in Second Life. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 14, Zhoel13 rated it it was ok. I find his approach towards virtual worlds not only provocative but also strategic.

For instance, I feel that there is a sense of reluctance in seeing the creative mis- uses of technology in Second Life as a form of techne. It seems that he only treats the instances of technological deviance i. It is a little bit strange considering the culture of hacking is perhaps one of the fittest examples of his concept of techne as creative force in cybersociality.

I suspect, he somewhat submits with the general assumption on hacking as hazardous activity. Thus, he overlooks the possibilities to consider the scripting and building activities in Second Life as hacking. Moreover, I feel that some of his analyses on the culture in Second Life a little bit pendent. The most obvious instance for me is in his discussion on gender and race The end of that section was so dangling to me that it really put me into a state of disappointment.

I did not find any concluding analysis that at least hints on the issue of the gap between the virtual and the actual that he deems significant. This kind of negligence is also made apparent in his discussion on voice and agency. It becomes a little bit annoying to me that he seems to forget to at least make a side note on the case of voice chat controversy in his discussion on agency I suspect this is related to his own position on the issue of voice chat capability itself I notice he was sitting among the protesters on Figure 4.

Yet, I do not think that this stand should hinder him from providing prolific assertions on the complexity of culture in virtual worlds. All these exasperations leave me with a mixed feeling towards the book. It indeed provides one of the most comprehensive and original analyses on the culture in virtual worlds, however I wish this book could have presented a more complex view. Before I read Boellstorff, I registered for Second Life and spent a few hours in the last week just to see what it was about.

I remain absolutely clueless. I'm trying to imagine what real life circumstances would attract me to spending any significant amount of time in this world, and I suppose I can think of a few. If I were confined to a bed, socially isolated, or stuck in a truly miserable job with plenty of free time at my desk, or if I wanted to have a virtual affair, I suppose Second Life Before I read Boellstorff, I registered for Second Life and spent a few hours in the last week just to see what it was about.

If I were confined to a bed, socially isolated, or stuck in a truly miserable job with plenty of free time at my desk, or if I wanted to have a virtual affair, I suppose Second Life would offer something. But my experience in a few hours very limited, to be sure is that it is possible to carry on mind-numbingly awkward "chats" with outlandishly curvaceous and lightly clad avatars.

I have found these conversations to be just as awkward as I might find any conversation with a friendly random person who seems to have left some of her clothes at home or who is returning from a Renaissance fair in sparkling high heels.

I have nothing to say after a few minutes, and neither in my experience do they. We share a virtual space and a few moments of mutual curiosity drifting off into boredom, until one of us blissfully teleports to another world. When the conversation slows, you hit a button and the people you are talking to just vanish. But why spend time in a world whose most interesting characteristic is an easy escape from the vapid and boring conversations that it otherwise offers? If you get serious about Second Life you can buy property and build objects and sell stuff and decorate your avatar with fancy skins But while wearing really cool virtual clothes!

Am I not getting this? I am not getting this. Yes, I gather that virtual sex is a pretty big part of Second Life, and you can see the possibilities. Maybe that is what people are really doing in Second Life. I haven't gone there, so I can't say.

Boellstorff treats Second Life as its own culture. He gives it a serious anthropological once over and does a good job of it. If you care about Second Life, this could serve as a theoretical, but also practical, introduction to the norms and habits of the world. It seems to be a little dated however.

I've also heard that Second Life is not quite the hot property or hot world that it was a few years ago. But the best way to explore Second Life is just to sign up and poke around, and I don't regret doing so. I suppose I can imagine life circumstances where it would be a wonderful place to go. I'm just not in those circumstances. It's rare that someone takes what is deemed an academic book to bed as her nightly reading, but Boellstorff has a voice and writing style that is fit for a number of readers--from the academic to the lay person wanting to know more about virtual worlds.

It's the kind of voice and style that I'm interested in and that I hope to have in my own academic works. Anyone who is a fan of virtual worlds and Second Life specifically will enjoy the in-depth descriptions that are available in this work, fro It's rare that someone takes what is deemed an academic book to bed as her nightly reading, but Boellstorff has a voice and writing style that is fit for a number of readers--from the academic to the lay person wanting to know more about virtual worlds.

Anyone who is a fan of virtual worlds and Second Life specifically will enjoy the in-depth descriptions that are available in this work, from the historical aspect of virtual worlds to Boellstorff's discussion of various aspects of virtual worlds using Second Life as his specific place of study , such as place, identity, communication, community, and consumerism. With my research interests, I was particularly interested in his thoughts on identity and community and also on his discussion of virtual worlds and actual worlds actual worlds is his framing of "real world".

Many scholars and lay people have always held these terms as binaries, but Boellstorff, through his fairly broad and deep research and own thoughts, illustrates how humans have always been virtual, an idea that once you understand it and decide to agree with it, makes the study of virtual worlds even that much more interesting to study.

I was a little upset that more time wasn't spent on race and gender, but even Boellstorff mentions that at the time of his writing, there weren't many studies that focused on race in virtual worlds. That piqued my interest. I'm always fascinated by gaps of knowledge that need to be filled, and seeing that this is one of my research interests, I already foresee me doing a lit review of what works are out there on this subject and seeing where I can fit in.

View all 6 comments. Sep 05, Mikhaela rated it liked it. Boellstoff's uses a clear and informative tone to describe and explore the virtual human. The text is easily digestible for anyone interested in learning more about virtual life. Through his knowledge and charismatic voice, he takes the reader with him on his journey from the beginning in a true Coming of Age fashion. While he claims multiple times to be unbiased and an anthropologist observing the Tom Boellstorff's Coming of Age in Second Life intrigued me the very moment I picked up the text.

While he claims multiple times to be unbiased and an anthropologist observing the culture, the further into the book I went, the more he seems to be in favor of virtual reality. He is not a purely unbiased observer because he creates for himself a virtual identity and realm. And while he shares stories of the events and places of Second Life, his language seems to agree with the reality rather than stay impartial.

I feel like while he didn't stay impartial, he did impart a lot of wisdom into the psyche and the culture of the virtual world. I did learn a lot about how the virtual reality operates on its own and how it interacts with the "real" world.

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Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human

Tom Boellstorff. Many of our ebooks are available through library electronic resources including these platforms:. Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds. Second Life is one of the largest of these virtual worlds. Tom Boellstorff conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so-called real world. Coming of Age in Second Life shows how virtual worlds can change ideas about identity and society. Bringing anthropology into territory never before studied, this book demonstrates that in some ways humans have always been virtual, and that virtual worlds in all their rich complexity build upon a human capacity for culture that is as old as humanity itself.

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