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Digital Ethnography: Artists Speak from Virtual Ability Island in Second Life

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Abstract

Second Life (SL) is “a popular multi-user environment where everything is built by avatar-residents, except the basic land” (Robbins & Bell, 2008). Users transform their avatars and creations with SL scripting language and retain copyrights. Although known for its social function, for example, meeting people, virtual parties, and interesting places to visit, these events are also inherently educational and aesthetic. Ondrejka (2008) describes learning in SL as situated, the social interaction providing built-in incentives to apprentice more experienced residents in active, “Vygotsian” collaboration. Over 300 universities worldwide have a home in SL (Michels, 2008). In November 2010, SL claimed to have 21.3 million accounts registered (Second Life, 2011, April). In 2010, approximately 700,000 people used the virtual world for at least an hour a month, the means that Linden Labs uses to measure activity level (Sass, 2010). Because of this unique feature of the platform, SL appeals to artists of all sorts to build and create “in world” (in SL). The result is a rich and varied world, created by its users, for its users.

Keywords

Virtual World Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Second Life Deaf Community Disability Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Alice Wexler 2012

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