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At the Convergence of the Elite and the Everyday: The Democratic Potential of Virtual Worlds

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Authors
Lau, Kimberly J.
Issue Date
2010
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.33 No.2, pp. 105-117
Keywords
Role Playing GamesAvatarVirtual WorldsDemocratic ExchangePolitical Discourse
Abstract
This paper explores the complex interrelationships and alternative spaces for democracy that emerge when the virtual worlds developed by elite media and entertainment corporations are populated by millions of everyday individuals. In particular, I focus on World of Warcraft (WoW), one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role‐playing games ever created, to investigate the convergence of elite media and entertainment forms with the everyday vernacular practices that sustain such forms. Reading the ideological and symbolic environment of Azeroth (WoW’s virtual world) and the game’s structural and technological features while also attending to the multiple ways in which virtual worlds complicate more traditional understandings of the “elite” and the “public sphere,” I suggest that such virtual worlds open up possibilities for different models of sociality, communication, and democratic engagement, making possible what Derrida calls “another space for democracy.”
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88643
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 33 Number 1/2 (2010)
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