Thursday, April 26, 2007

the first day of the borders conference is under our belt. Very amazing it happened the speakers were amazing, and we are worn out because Second Life went off line just before we started, we hit technical difficulties in the audio that couldn't be corrected and we are all worn out from the experience.

My talk is a scant 15 hours from now and I am nervous.
here's my amended statement:

Our discussion today revolves around the concepts of embodiment in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO)environment. The MMO is still laden with preconception that these arenas are only distraction; the territory of teenage malcontents and social misfits who just 'need to get a life'. I suggest that there is an attraction to the MMO format for a wider community of people. They are drawn to the MMO as a platform for deep socio-economic, cultural and political pursuits and yet is still labeled with a stigma.

I propose a repurpose of the expression 'Out of Body Experience'(OoBE) as a description for the interaction with these platforms. These spaces represent a boundary space of the entity in-between.

Despite the immediate association with new age spiritualist fringe cultures, Out of Body Experiences are not nearly as much hoodoo or metaphysics as one might associate. The use of the Out of Body Experience as a metaphor is not to be seen as coy or clever attempt to color this discussion. It seems point to a transitional space, a borderland of agency.

These experiences are part of many practices and arenas of social existence. And indeed, they are obviously rooted as religious practices like meditation, prayer, or channeling. Out of Body Experiences appear in other areas such as battle and combat or sexual practice. These triggers can and do invoke the sensory separations from the corporeal. And don't allow us to forget the 'zone' that we hear often about from those in the artistic professions.

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