Women and Second Life

Essays on Virtual Identity, Work and Play


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About the Book

This collection of new essays explores issues of identity, work and play in the virtual world of Second Life (SL). Fourteen women discuss their experiences. Topics include teaching in Second Life, becoming an SL journalist, and using SL as a means to bring human rights to health care; exploring issues of identity and gender such as performing the role of digital geisha, playing with gender crossing, or determining how identity is formed virtually; examining how race is perceived; and investigating creativity such as poetry writing or quilting.
The text is unique in that it represents only women and their experiences in a world that is most often viewed as a man’s world.

About the Author(s)

Dianna Baldwin is the associate director of the Writing Center at Michigan State University. She lives in Lansing, Michigan.
Julie Achterberg is a high school English and biology teacher. She lives in Haslett, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Dianna Baldwin and Julie Achterberg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7021-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0183-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface (Dianna Baldwin and Julie Achterberg) 1

Introduction: The Big Bang Theory, or the Creation of Second Life (Dianna Baldwin and Julie Achterberg) 5

Part I : Life as Avatar

A Rainy Afternoon: A Reflective Process Utilizing an Avatar Persona (Christine Ballengee Morris) 15

Digital Geisha (Julie Achterberg) 32

N00bs, M00bs and B00bs: An Exploration of Identity Formation in Second Life (J. A. Brown, Meg Y. Brown and Jennifer Regan) 45

Part II : Gender and Race

My Second Life as a Cyber Border Crosser (Carleen D. Sanchez) 63

Gender (Re)Production of “Emotion Work” and “Feeling Rules” in Second Life  (Jennifer J. Reed) 77

Part III : Work and Education

Zoe’s Law for SL, or If It Can, It Will, So Expect It (Dianna Baldwin) 89

Exploring the Virtual World of Second Life to Help Bring Human Rights to Health Care (Kara Bennett, Ph.D., and Susan Patrice, M.D.) 105

The Virtual Sky Is the Limit: Women’s Journalism Experiences in Second Life (Phylis Johnson) 116

If She Can Build It, She Will (Suzanne Aurilio) 135

Part IV : Culture

Adventures in Fiberspace: Quilts and Quilting in Second Life Through the Virtual Eyes of Ione Tigerpaw (Amanda Grace Sikarskie) 149

Creative Immersion and Inspiration in Second Life’s Virtual Landscapes (Patricia A. Facciponti) 160

About the Contributors 189

Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

“[Eleven] chapters include essays, poetry, and a two-act play by a variety of scholars working in areas from English to sociology to media studies in the U.S., who discuss their experiences with identity, work, and play as women in the virtual world of Second Life. Chapters explore how their lives as avatars affected their everyday lives, issues of gender and race, how real-life work can be accomplished in a virtual environment, and cultural aspects. They delve into topics like the creative process in Second Life, virtual identity, replication and creation of culture and learning and work in virtual environments, and the experience of being a ‘digital geisha’”—Reference & Research Book News.