Social networking sites and web services like Facebook, Second Life, Flickr, Del.icio.us, etc. can be seen as much more than merely functional spaces. Other spatial aspects can be highlighted. With our actions we also perform activities – we reach for objects in Second Life, we apply applications in Facebook, etc.; we take in space by moving and going to places – typically by RSS feeds or linking in LinkedIn, Del.icio.us, Facebook, etc.; we judge what we reach for and link to – by tagging, rating, social book marking as performed at digg.com e.g. These behaviours change the software space to a place we inhabit. The main question for this presentation is, in which way we inhabit these spaces? What actions does the space encourage and what kind of existence is affected? Beyond doubt, dealing with software we are witnessing a particular distribution of a sensual experience (in the terms of French philosopher, Jacques Rancière). In this landscape of creative and participatory software that characterizes the Internet today we thus need a language to further distinguish between our ‘spaces of action’ and the software’s distribution of our sensual experiences. The paper will suggest that an analysis of the software interface and its discoursive and semantic properties is needed to reveal these political aspects of software. In detail, it will analyze the game of Vampires, a popular application on Facebook, claiming A) that the network game fundamentally challenges our notion of what a game actually is, B) that analysing the game’s dynamics may help us understand the network and its historical challenges in a broader perspective and C) that the game of Vampires invites us to read the game through the image of the vampire (for this the analysis will draw on Carl Th. Dreyer’s Vampyr from 1932). The analysis will demonstrate how traditional notions of social activity, work and leisure, public and private, reality and fiction are being challenged by our life in the network.
Computerspil; Sociale netværk; Web 2.0; Facebook; Computer games; Social networks
Main Research Area:
Association of Internet Researcher 9.0: Rethinking Communities, Rethinking Place, 2008