The tyranny of embodiment


Yee, N.; Ducheneaut, N.; Ellis, J. The tyranny of embodiment. Artifact special issue on Productive Play. 2008; 2 (3): 1-6.


Contemporary virtual worlds insist on replicating physical embodiment. The metaphor of embodiment and the expectations it brings directs our attention to replicating physical reality in virtual worlds, including the need to create a legion of artifacts that revolve around our bodies. Thus, a virtual meeting is conceptualized as a collection of virtual chairs, virtual tables, and virtual people. On the other hand, does this insistence on replicating physical reality in virtual worlds limit the kind of work that can be done in virtual worlds? Or put another way, could new forms of work and collaboration be imagined in a world without traditional human embodiment?

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