A YOUNG GIRL’S CONSTRUCTION OF IDENTITY ON A MULTI-USER DOMAIN
University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In the borderless world of the Internet and computer mediated communication, where anonymity and the creation of persona are rife, the construction of virtual identities is inevitable. Users adopt identities that are multiple: real and virtual selves. Identities may be constructed through personality, social roles, relationships and shared values. These may be manifest through the use of language, names and social cues such as emoticons in virtual environments. The virtual world therefore offers people the opportunity to assume different identities each time they log on. Changing one’s identity is the norm of virtual games, Multi-user domains (MUDs) and social networking sites. These virtual platforms provide a new context for the exploration of identity, as the anonymity of these environments gives users the opportunity to play with their identities and experience new ones. This paper examines how an eleven year old girl engages on a MUD, and how she negotiates her identity in a MUD as a community of practice. The paper sets out to examine the following aim: to establish the influence of the Multi-User Domain on the identity construction of an eleven year old female.
Keywords: Virtual identity, identity construction, multi-user domains.