Your world, your imagination : community construction in the online multiplayer game Second life
Cohen (1985) and Anderson (1983) argued that community is imagined among its participants who define it and give it meaning. Following this theoretical approach, this study explores how a community is constructed through people’s different online social experiences. Using textual analysis of player-run newspapers and blogs, this study investigates the community construction of Second Life-an online three-dimensional multiplayer game. The findings suggest that Second Life is a community in which 1) social aggregations are based on a sense of virtual geographical belonging; 2) different in-game ideologies and real world politics are applied as symbolic constructions of sub-communities; 3) people’s relationships are not only formed upon online fantasies, but also can be developed into strong social ties that provide material aid in real life.