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Maeva Veerapen


Publications by Maeva Veerapen (bibliography)

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Veerapen, Maeva (2011): How did the computer disappear?: HCI during the experience of Second Life. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 260-266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940797

This preliminary study utilizes an experiential perspective to critically examine the encounter between the human user and computer interface during the activity of participating in a virtual world called Second Life. Existing research on participation within virtual worlds has ignored the physical body's interactions with the computer. Referring to fieldwork notes collected during ethnographic research undertaken in Second Life over the past two years, I demonstrate the processes through which the computer interface is shifted to the background of the user's consciousness during the experience of being 'in' the virtual world. Rigid phenomenological analysis reveals that the encounter of the human user with the computer produces a new kind of being, whereby the user lives in terms of "I am allowed" for the duration of the human-computer interaction when in world. This finding allows to not only better understand the state of being of the human subject during the virtual world experience but also provides an approach and framework of analysis to examine what happens to the user during other activities from computer games and word processing on a desktop computer to games on an iPad.

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