A Collection of Social Anthropological Research in Virtual Cultures and Landscapes
Edited By Undine Frömming
This book is the result of a virtual research experiment conducted in the virtual world Second Life over four semesters from the year 2009 to 2013 at Freie Uni- versität Berlin, Germany. Over fifty students from the international M.A. Pro- gram in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin participated in the experiment, a class with the title “Social Anthropology in Virtual Wolrds”. The aim of the class was to discuss classic and current Virtual Cultures Research theory, including Cyberanthropology and ethnographic audiovisual methods, as well as to conduct or “simulate” ethnographic research in virtual cultures, and environments. In addition to their independent research, students met together for regular classes, which were run by the editor together with the co-lecturer, Sa- mantha Fox from Columbia University. All weekly classes took place via Avatars and voice-chat within Second Life in the 3D-classrooms of the Freie Universität Berlin on Edunation Island. This book presents a collection of the written re- search reports that resulted from the research described above, and can be seen as an attempt to discover the challenges and limits of social anthropological research with an avatar in virtual cultures and environments. The editor would like to thank Tom Boellstorff for all of his inspiration an his foreword to this book, Freie Universität Berlin for funding this course, and Heike Philip (EU-Project Avalon: Access to Virtual and Action Learning Live ONLine), and Dr. Randall Sadler from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for providing the...
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