One can read the history of MMOGs as a history of the development of the body (avatar) in the internet. To make the classical terms of sociology of the body fit the field of MMOGs, this chapter builds on the social world perspective to leave the dichotomy between real (offline) and virtual (online) behind. MMOGs are seen as one of numerous social worlds (rooted in the here and now) and not as distant planets. In the Here and Now the body is an everyday matter of course. According to Goffman’s interaction order Face-to-Face interaction is the prototype of interaction and the influence of technical artifacts (pen and paper, telephone, etc.) negates its constituting elements – immediacy and reciprocity. Immediacy and reciprocity are interrelated with the body. Although MMOGs are technical artifacts, MMOGs re-establish elements constituting the body. The avatar becomes a key artifact and an inescapable necessity in experiencing the world of MMOGs. Therefore compared to other online-places, MMOGs expand the accessibility that is typical for the internet with the possibility of “physical” presence. But this physical presence is rather a semiotic body (or body-social), than a body in physical terms. The avatar therefore seems to be an intersubjective accomplishment pointing to group affiliations. Applying to the body, it is therefore not just skin and bones it is also socially constructed. The avatar is expressed or embodied society.
Tietz, A. (2015), "Embodiment Online and Interaction in Massively Multiplayer Online Games", Contributions from European Symbolic Interactionists: Conflict and Cooperation (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 45), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 119-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-239620150000045006Download as .RIS
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