Virtual Reality

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 16–24 | Cite as

On the linguistic nature of cyberspace and virtual communities

Article

Abstract

This paper argues for a linguistic explanation of the nature of Virtual Communities. Virtual Communities develop and grow in electronic space. or ‘cyberspace’. Authors such as Benedikt Meyrowitz and Mitchell have theorised about the nature of electronic space whilst Lefebvre. Popper, Hakim Bey (aka Lamborn Wilson) and Kuhn have theorised more generally about the nature of space. Extending this tradition and the works of these authors, this paper presents a language based perspective on the nature of electronic spaces. Behaviour in cyberspace is based on and regulated by hardware, software tools and interfaces. A definition of electronic space cannot be given beyond its linguistic characteristics, which underlie and sustain it. The author believes that the more users and developers understand the relationship between language and cyberspace, the more they will be able to use specific metaphors for dwelling and inhabiting it. In particular, MUDs/MOOs and the Web are interesting places for testing and observing social behaviours and dynamics.

Keywords

Virtual communities Cyberspace Speech acts Linguistics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Glbson W, Neuromancer. New York: Ace Books. 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benedikt M. Cyberspace: first steps. Cambridge: MIT University Press. 1991.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bey H. TAZ. The temporary autonomous zone. Ontological anarchy, poetic terrorism. Brooklyn. New York: Automedia. 1985.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cicognani A. Verso una nucva virtualita. L'uomo, l'artificiale e al tecnologia. Graduation thesis. Politecnico di Milano, Facoltà di architettura.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Heim M. The metaphysics of virtual reality. New York: Oxford University Press. 1993.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maldonado T. Reale e virtuale. Milan: Feltrinelli. 1992.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mitchell W. City of bits. USA: MIT University Press. 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Queau P. Le virtuel. Vertues et vertiges. Paris: INA. 1993.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rheingold H. The virtual community. London: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd. 1994.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Clarke AA, et al. A tanguage for cooperation? In: Linguistic Concepts and Methods in CSCW. Connolly H and Pemberton L eds. London: Springer. 1996.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cassirer E. Philosophie der symbolischen formen, 1er teil: Die Sprache. Berlin: 1923.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eco U. Le forme del contenuto. Milan: Bompiani, 1971.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Austin JL. How to do things with words. Boston: Harvard University Press. 1962Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Novak M. Liquid architectures in cyberspace. In: Cyperspace: first steps. Benedikt M ed. Cambridge: MIT Press. 1992.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kuhn T. Metaphor in science. In: Metaphor and thought. Ortony A. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1979, 533–542.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lefebvre H. The construction of space. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell. 1991.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Popper K. Objective knowledge: an evolutionary approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1972.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Virilio P. Speed and politics: an essay on dromology. Trnaslated by Mark Polizzotti. New York: Colubia University Press. 1986.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Meyrowitz J. No sense of place. The impact of electronic media on social behaviour. New York: Oxford University Press. 1985.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rucker R, Sirius RU, Mu Q. (eds). MONDO 2000 Users' guide to the new edge. Mondo2000 Publications. 1992.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cherny L. The modal complexity of speech events in a social MUD. Electronic Journal of Communication. 1995; 5:4Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rushkoff D. Media Virus! Hidden agendas in popular culture. Sydney: Random House 1994.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Juno A. Vale V. Pranks!#11.USA: RE/Search Publications 1987.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Paccagnella L. Sociologia del cyberspazio. La costruziane sociale della realtá sulle reti telematiche. Unpublished dissertation, Universitát degli Studi di Trento.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stephenson N. Snow crash. New York: Bantam. 1992.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cicognani A, Maher ML. Design speech acts. How to do things with words in virtual communities. In: CAAD Futures conference proceedings, Munich August 3–6 edited by R. Junge, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 707–717.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Centre of Design Computing, Department of Architectural and Design Science, Factly of ArchitectureUniversity of SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations