Podcast: Celia Pearce, “Identity-as-Place: Fictive Ethnicities in Online Games & Virtual Worlds”

This talk, with Celia Pearce, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Georgia Tech and Director and the Emergent Game Group and Experimental Game Lab, explored the connection of identity to virtual place, referencing in particular anthropology, humanist and socio-geography and Internet studies to look at the construction and performance of “fictive ethnicity” tied to a specific, though virtual and fictional, locality. To illustrate, Pearce used the example of the “Uru Diaspora,” a game community from the defunct massively multiplayer game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (based on the Myst series), which immigrated into other games and virtual worlds, adopting the collective fictive ethnicity of “Uru Refugees,” and referring to Uru as their “homeland.”

Andrew Whitacre

Communications Director