• Campers

    William Turkel

    My Posts

    Rituals and Symbols in Virtual Worlds

    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 | William J. Turkel

    Here is a session proposal from Sonja Sapach:

    In preparation for my thesis, I am studying the nature of ritual and symbols in virtual worlds – with a focus on the Durkheimian understanding of the creation of social solidarity through participation in ritual activities.

    I am interested in the typologies of persistent symbols from video games that can lead to solidarity in the “real world”. I would like to brainstorm to come up with mutually “sacred” symbols from video games – a good example would be the Horde crest from World of Warcraft.

    I am also interested in the festival-type nature of participation in virtual worlds – the ways in which we don masks (avatars) that alter our “real world” status and allow us to play freely with others whose real identities are hidden. In what ways do we change the way we perform socially when we are immersed in a virtual world? How does embodied (real) co-presence differ from virtual co-presence?

    Finally, I am interested in specific rituals performed both in-game and in the real world. This involves anecdotal sharing more than anything. How do you orient yourself in the real world before and during a gaming session? Are there rituals you follow in the game itself? (For example, whenever I log on to WoW, I follow a fairly strict ritual of checking the mailbox, reorienting myself to my inventory, ensuring that my skills are correctly hotkeyed, greeting online guildies, etc.)

    The discussion does not have to be specific to these ideas however, as I am still in the exploration stage, and would appreciate a diverse discussion on rituals in gaming in general.

    Announcing Great Lakes THATCamp 2012

    Saturday, February 4th, 2012 | William J. Turkel

    Following on the success of Great Lakes THATCamp 2010 and 2011 at Michigan State University, we’ve decided to do it again… but in Canada, eh?

    For those who are unfamiliar, Great Lakes THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology Camp) is a user-generated “unconference” on digital humanities originally inspired by the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University.

    Great Lakes THATCamp will take place on the lovely campus of Western University in London, Ontario on April 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2012.

    We will be accepting applications until March 15th, 2012 – but don’t wait too long because we can only accept about 80 attendees and we will be admitting people on a rolling basis.  To apply, just visit the Apply section of this website, fill out the form, and you are good to go.  Its really that easy!  No complicated submission processes like other academic conferences.

    If you are interested in digging deeper into how Great Lakes THATCamp works, who should apply, or what constitutes the “digital humanities” (hint: it isn’t just for humanists), check out the About section.

    We encourage all applicants, participants, organizers, and onlookers to sign up for a Twitter account and follow news, announcements, discussions, and general hype coming from our profile (@GLTHATCamp) and the global THATcamp hashtag (#thatcamp).  Also, if you don’t already have one, go sign up for a Gravatar account.

    For more info, check out the About page or send an email to Bill Turkel at william [dot] j [dot] turkel [at] gmail [dot] com