The Tyranny of Embodiment

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Nick Yee Jason Ellis Nicolas Ducheneaut


Contemporary virtual worlds tend to insist on employing the metaphor of embodiment and replicating physical reality. We are represented by graphical avatars that in turn sit in virtual chairs around virtual tables. On the other hand, in what ways might this insistence on replicating physical reality constrain the kinds of work that might take place in virtual worlds? In this article, we outline a set of common expectations that derive from this insistence on embodiment and present examples of how these expectations might be broken in productive ways.

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