P028


Ethnographies of Metaverse. Transformation of anthropological research at the encounter of virtual commons 
Convenors:
Gabriel Stoiciu ('Francisc Rainer' Institute of Anthropology)
Mihai Burlacu (Transilvania University, Brasov)
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Format:
Panel
Location:
Room 16
Sessions:
Thursday 28 July, 9:00-10:45

Short Abstract:

We welcome contributions examining topologies of virtual places, with an emphasis on identity reshaping while on open world virtual platforms. When discussing virtual commons, we are interested in examining methodological challenges that arise from the unreflexive use of different digital platforms.

Long Abstract

Virtual worlds entail juxtaposed places and times. Anthropologists have approached the new representations of space in the last two decades on a plethora of themes correlated with virtual commons. We welcome in our panel contributions examining the various topologies of virtual places, with an emphasis on identity reshaping while on open world virtual platforms as an anticipation of the "promised land" of Metaverse. Moreover, when discussing virtual commons, we are interested in examining the methodological challenges that arise from the unreflexive use of different digital platforms. We do not subscribe to any form of methodological determinism. However, we do believe that anthropologists can and should explore what virtual representations of space and place may entail in relation to: semiotics, aesthetics, interactions, simulations and narratives. Furthermore, of particular interest with respect to narratives and interactions is a related issue concerning the different ways in which time is represented in open-world games. Drawing upon Johannes Fabian's Time and the Other (1983), we encourage presentations that explore whether or not fictional in-game or virtual reality time is coextensive with the time of participating and the time of research: is Fabian's "denial of coevalness" relevant in virtual contexts? Fieldworks drawing upon reflections on works like those of Boellstorff (2008) and Holyst (2017) are also welcome.

Accepted papers: