A Collection of Social Anthropological Research in Virtual Cultures and Landscapes
Chapter II. Gender, Belonging and Motherhood in Virtual Cultures
Chapter II Gender, Belonging and Motherhood in Virtual Cultures Waiting for Zowie Notes from the Digital Uterus Alina Trebbin “You feel little feet kicking you!” …declared the tummy talker in the bottom left chat box on my laptop screen. Ziggi was three days pregnant with Zowie when the tummy talker first announced his presence. There was still 18 days of pregnancy left, where he would be waiting, in pre-ordered shape, for his de- livery to Ziggi’s inventory list, the place he would return to later on whenever I went offline. His hair would be black, his skin bright, his eye colour open for me to changed endlessly throughout his ‘life’. A growing number of people are no longer exclusively experiencing their real- ity in the physical world. Through new technologies, cyberspace is becoming a vital element of our everyday real life. As fantasy and technology “question” what constitutes reality (Manfé 2005: 75), studies of real life must undergo fun- damental changes. Since the discipline of anthropology is about “[…] the story of life as it has been lived and is being lived at this very moment […]” (Escobar 1994: 223), an anthropologist needs to consider cyberspace as one of her possible fieldwork destinations. The following essay is an account of such fieldwork in the virtual platform Second Life—or rather of its failing. The paper poses more questions than it is able to answer, and perhaps ends in greater confusion than it begins. Nevertheless, it opens and outlines research possibilities in Second...
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