What our Avatars Say About Us

Sam Gosling: Yeah, I think we’re- I mean, we’re continuing to push in the meaning of environment, so we’ve gone from physical environments to virtual environments, and I’m very, very interested in these new emerging environments, such as social networking sites which are places- which are very interesting places for us- projecting our identity, but also reflecting our behavior- so the sorts of behaviors that go on there, I think, are very interesting- not not frivolous and trivial as they often are claimed to be.

And also virtual spaces, too- what’s going there- because there, we don’t have constraints. Most of us have constraints in what we- in the sorts of places we can create, where virtual space is less so, and so I think looking at the connections between people’s real environments and their virtual environments is holds many opportunities to understand what’s going on inside our heads.

People often say, “well, what do people use Facebook for?” Or “what do people use Second Life for?” And the answer is, they use it for a whole bunch of different things. There’s many different purposes. And I think it’s reasonable to predict that people in these spaces will both try to create extensions of themselves, but also experiment with other possible selves, too.

 

Recorded on: June 13, 2008.

 

The meaning of environments are changing, Gosling says, from physical environments to virtual environments.

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