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Title:Intimate experiences in virtual worlds: the interplay among hyperpersonal communication, avatar-based systems, and experiential drives
Author(s):Freeman, Guo Zhang; Bardzell, Jeffrey; Bardzell, Shaowen
intimate experiences
hyperpersonal communication
virtual worlds
Second Life
Abstract:This paper investigates the intersection of traditional social science understandings of intimacy, established Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) theories developed in the days of text-based Internet communications, and studies of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-mediated intimacy. Using mixed methods, this paper offers an empirical analysis of how users (re)define, interpret, experience, and evaluate “intimacy” in a hyperpersonal sociotechnical system—Second Life (SL). Findings show that SL intimacy closely related to emotional fulfillment, the need to be touched, and interpersonal communication, but that SL intimacy also emphasized new forms of physical proximity. Especially, a subjectively meaningful intimate experience usually emerged in the interplay among self-selection, experiential drives, and technological affordance. This paper contributes to the study of social impacts of ICTs by shedding light on potential changes in how people define and experience interpersonal relationships in hyperpersonal sociotechnical environments.
Issue Date:2016-03-15
Citation Info:NA
Series/Report:IConference 2016 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-08

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