Bowling Green State University

Project Description

We intend to study how individuals present themselves in two distinct online communities, Achaea Dreams and Divine Lands (MUD), a fantasy based environment, and LinguaMOO, a virtual classroom setting. Specifically we wish to question how gender and sexuality are constructed in these viritual enviornments, and virtual and physcial identities compare.

Project Abstract

Current gender theory addresses gender as a constructed performance mediated by cultural expectations. Given the proliferation of online communities in mainstream culture, and the blurring of boundaries between virtual and physical identities, this study hopes to illuminate the construction of gender in these virtual environments through an ethnographic lens. We examine two distinct communities: Achaea Dreams and Divine Lands MUD, a fantasy-based role-playing environment, and LinguaMOO, a reality-based learning environment. By examining these communities as a cultural product as well as a cultural breeding ground, we are able to address how gender is constructed across the boundaries between the physical realm and the virtual.

Surveys released for this project:
Gender 37
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