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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Embodied Presence: The Imaginary in Virtual Worlds


This research has previously used the term ‘embodied narrative’ to explore the imaginary in virtual worlds. Using narrative as a method, it explores and de-codes the complex layering of conflict between the real and the virtual. Second Life is a performative space par excellence. Hayles explains that when the pov (Hayles' terminology) is ‘metaphorized into an interactive space, the datascape is narrativized by the pov’s movement through it’. The performativity of interaction in this shared space moves across geographical space though the temporal dimension remains. This paper explores embodiment and performativity as a strategy to understand the impact of new technologies on our real and virtual bodies, and on the imaginations that breathe life into the post-human.

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