The First Second Life Church of Elvis thrives in the metaverse of Second Life, where this year marks the third Burning Life festival, an in-game homage to Burning Man. Just a mouse click away, mages, priests, shamans, and warlocks tame dangerous magic to channel into their battles against evil in World of Warcraft. Hundreds of fan sites and blogs chronicle the legend and occult lore underlying the Warcraft world.
As participants in these massive multiplayer online roleplaying games interact, they create new communities and “affinity spaces” online. This participatory culture first engages players at the level of fandom, then blurs the lines between amateur and professional, player and practitioner.
This panel to be presented at ATHE 2007 in New Orleans July 26-29 seeks presenters willing to explore any and all of the following questions:
How does storytelling change within online performance environments?
What positive cultural contributions can game-playing make to performance offline?
How are people practicing performance and practicing spirituality online?
Are performances crafted with online game tools new forms of expression and discovery? How do they connect creators with the offline tools of older artforms?
If we take game-playing seriously, what are our notions of “play”?
How does the “play” in “playing games” compare with the “play” in “performing a play”?
How do online communities utilize rituals and ritual practices?
All related queries are welcome. If you’re interested in playing along, please send a copy of your C.V. and a brief description (around 50 words) of your paper topic to Heather.Beasley@colorado.edu by October 27. You will be contacted regarding acceptance no later than November 1.
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