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Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online (Science Museum TechKnow Series) Paperback – 4 Apr 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (4 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470723629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470723623
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,684,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Glossy and very personal view on virtual worlds and the people who inhabit them highly enjoyable to read

From the Author

Nobody could accuse either the media or the general public of ignoring virtual worlds, but while much has been written about the technology behind them and both the opportunities and threats they present, one thing has been noticeably absent: the stories of the people who inhabit them.

Using my own personal journey to find my identity online after a brain disease robbed me of my own (and left me in a wheelchair for 8 years) nearly twenty years ago, I decided to write a book that follows the search for the answer to that ever present question of 'who am I?' into the virtual realm of 21st century 3D immersive environments.

By combining the testimony of experts in the field to answer questions such as 'can an avatar be raped?' with the real life back story of some of the most fascinating characters to inhabit Second Life,, World of Warcraft and other worlds, I have been able to paint a picture of identity in this digital age. Throwing my own story into the mix holds it all together, as I searched for a sense of belonging and worth at exactly the same time as the very first virtual communities were starting to appear across the Internet.

This is not a textbook, nor a technical reference work. However, of the 20 books I have had published over the last couple of decades it is by far and away the best read I have written as well as being the most satisfying and personally empowering project I have ever undertaken.

To quote Michael Wilson, writing in the foreword to Being Virtual: "As these environments become more and more commonplace, understanding how they fit into our lives becomes more important, whether we use them to communicate, or whether we know other people who do so. As a part of the fabric of our day-to-day lives, like email, instant and text messaging, understanding the real people in the environments is as important as understanding the environments themselves. Being Virtual is the first book to focus on the real content of virtual worlds: the people who inhabit them and their stories. Because no matter how different you may be from your avatar, it is you who invented it, and it is in some way reflective of who you are. Being Virtual brings you the back story behind the characters, and helps us begin to understand the true impact of these environments on today's society and, interestingly enough, vice versa."

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on 23 March 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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on 23 April 2008
Format: Paperback
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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2 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Entirely Different Take on the Digital Environment
on 21 February 2009 - Published on
Format: Paperback