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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read for enlightment, not entertainment, 28 Feb 2009
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One of the best books on 'what it is like' to inhabit virtual worlds. People who have already invested time in virtual worlds may not like the book. It discusses very mundane issues such as lag, idling and multi-charactering. Boellstorff's subtle analysis and writing style, however, makes reading it a delight. This is not editorial or autobiographical. This is well-reasoned and grounded research. As such, it may not interesting for those looking to be entertained by the wild lives of avatars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both entertaining and informative, 3 April 2009
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The author's title, with its nod to Margaret Mead's classic _Coming of Age in Samoa'_, is a succinct description of his contribution: a competent description and analysis of a culture using standard Malinowskian ethnographic procedure. Importantly, he provides 27 pages of well-argued methodological justification for his approach, after an up-to-date history of the field; this is followed by chapters on the ways in which Place and Time; Personhood; Intimacy; and Community are construed within Second Life. Chapters on Political Economy, and the relationship between virtual and non-virtual worlds, complete the book. Text: 249pp, Glossary 4pp, Notes 16pp, References 31pp, Index 14pp. Thoroughly enjoyable while methodologically sound.
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Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human
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