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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Banks, Jaime, editor. Title: Avatar, assembled: the social and technical anatomy of digital bodies / edited by Jaime Banks. Description: 1st Edition. | New York: Peter Lang. Series: Digital formations, vol. 106 | ISSN 1526-3169 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017026099 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3560-6 (pbk.: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3828-7 (hardback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3829-4 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-4326-7 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4327-4 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Information technology—Social aspects. | Avatars (Virtual reality)—Social aspects. | Internet games—Social aspects. Classification: LCC HM851 .A927 | DDC 303.48/33—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/978-1-4331-3829-4

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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