Shadows Cast on the Screen?

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    A brief literature overview of avatar studies is presented in this paper. It shows that this emerging field of research is characterised by heterogeneity and interdisciplinary contributions from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, technology studies, social interaction and behavioural studies, human-computer interaction, and philosophy. However, a common thread of many studies appears to be the understanding that the relations of a person with his or her avatar(s) are representational: The avatar is seen as the virtual representation of the real in-front-of-the-screen person, like a shadow cast on the screen. This understanding is questioned with reference to a semiotic understanding of avatars if seen as triadic relationships of sign processes—that is, as something that stands for something for someone. This understanding is exemplified by the case of Thomas and his businessman avatar, DC Aspen. Finally, with reference to the semiotic understanding it is suggested that we see avatars as transformative mediators of communication
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2010
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event3rd European Communication and Education Conference : Transcultural Communication -- Intercultural Comparisons - Hamburg, Germany
    Duration: 12 Oct 201015 Oct 2010


    Conference3rd European Communication and Education Conference

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