In this study, we examine inworld morality of frequent residents of Second Life (SL). Given the lack of systematic research on morality in non-gaming virtual worlds, we conducted an explorative small-scale, in-depth qualitative study with avid SL-residents. Drawing on cyber-anthropology, cyber-sociology and game studies, we explore to what extent their ideas and pictures of inworld moral behaviour differ from moral categories and definitions used in 'real life' situations. Our research findings show, firstly, that communication and sanction mechanisms (e.g. gossip), known from real life, are important means to create social control and group cohesion in SL. Secondly, the technologically mediated context intensifies and provides new tools for social control (e.g. alternative avatar). Thirdly, residents also make use of 'out-world' systems to restrict or punish immoral behaviour (e.g. blogs, discussion forums, web search engines). In general, our findings indicate that morality in SL is not completely different from morality shown in 'real life'. On the other hand, they also point to distinctiveness in a mediated environment because of specific technological tools.
|Virtual Worlds and Metaverse Platforms: New Communication and Identity Paradigms
|N. Zagalo, L. Morgado, A. Boa-ventura
|ISBN van geprinte versie
|Published - 2011