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Avatar, Assembled

The Social and Technical Anatomy of Digital Bodies


Edited By Jaime Banks

Avatar, Assembled is a curated volume that unpacks videogame and virtual world avatars—not as a monolithic phenomenon (as they are usually framed) but as sociotechnical assemblages, pieced together from social (human-like) features like voice and gesture to technical (machine-like) features like graphics and glitches. Each chapter accounts for the empirical, theoretical, technical, and popular understandings of these avatar "components"—60 in total—altogether offering a nuanced explication of avatars-as-assemblages as they matter in contemporary society and in individual experience. The volume is a "crossover" piece in that, while it delves into complex ideas, it is written in a way that will be accessible and interesting to students, researchers, designers, and practitioners alike.
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Changhyun Ahn (M.A., Cleveland State University) is a doctoral student of communication at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. His favorite videogame avatar is Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher 3: Wilde Hunt, who has a kindness buried deep in his heart that causes him suffering as he fights evil, often forcing him to make morally difficult decisions.

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn (Ph.D., Stanford University) is associate professor of advertising at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Universityof Georgia, and the director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab. (@sunjooahn)

Roger Altizer, Jr. (Ph.D., University of Utah) is co-founder of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering program, director of Digital Medicine for the Center for Medical Innovation, founding director of The GApp lab (Therapeutic Games and Apps), and associate professor in population health sciences. His favorite videogame avatar was his Phantasy Star Online ranger android named 8675309 who not only proved to him that console MMO’s can be great but that not everyone remembers Jenny’s phone number. (@real_rahjur)

Kristine Ask (Ph.D., Norwegian University of Science and Technology Studies [NTNU]) is assistant professor of Science and Technology Studies at NTNU. Her favorite videogame avatar is a dwarven priest with an attitude named Kanita from World of Warcraft, that she spent years of play and research with. (@kristineask) ← 299 | 300 →

Jaime Banks (Ph.D., Colorado State University) is assistant professor of communication studies at West Virginia...

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