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Subversion, Sexuality and the Virtual Self

This work explores diverse gender and sexuality representations in the virtual world of Second Life. Virtual worlds and screen culture are having an increasing impact on society, so the research is relevant to society in view of the similarities and differences between our corporeal (physical) and virtual selves. This work principally investigates visual and screen cultures, using four specific regions of the three-dimensional virtual world of Second Life as case studies. These regions are all subversive, in that they both allow and encourage diverse sexualities and non-normative interactions and behaviours. Investigating non-normative sexualities is both topical and necessary within progressive cultures that wish to become more tolerant and understanding of difference. The originality of this study, and how it differs and adds to existing research, is in its application of queer and feminist theory, hitherto utilised to explain phenomena in the corporeal environment, to the platform of a 3DVE (three-dimensional virtual environment). The application of this theory explains the containment of queer subversion and non-normative identities in a context of supposed liberation.


Researchers

Dr Jude Elund

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