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Dinner Speech: Elizabeth Keating (School of Language & Literature): "New Language Games: Collaborating Within and Across Technology-Mediated Activity Spaces"

Wann 14.11.2012
von 18:30 bis 19:30
Wo FRIAS Seminar Room, Albertstr. 19
Kontakttelefon 0761 203 97362
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Online activities have proven to be fertile ground for investigating aspects of language in context, including the role of space and the body. Scholars from multiple disciplines have been intrigued by people’s experimentation with identity, have been concerned about violence and role play in fantasy worlds, have considered the disruption of time/space relations, have reflected on virtual team work, have analyzed emerging language practices, and much more. People are surprisingly agile in adapting features of interaction to new technologically-mediated contexts, especially considering it is necessary to continually master evolving technology interfaces and tools. Among the interesting technologically-mediated spaces for investigating language use are two I will focus on: one is online gaming, particularly the practice of gaming in MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) when participants bring their computers to share the same physical space while gaming together (LAN Party interactions). The other setting is a virtual design team, in this case a group of petroleum engineers, who are located on four different continents, and are collaborating now that technology has made it possible to shift engineering design work to cheaper labor markets. The engineers communicate daily with engineers who don’t at all resemble colleagues down the hall or in the next office. The process of making actions coherent across wildly different, but now contiguous contexts—whether game worlds where a click of the mouse brings dead players back to life, or engineering worlds with diverse cultural behaviors—is a process that entails using language and the body in particular ways to establish and orient to rapidly changing participation frameworks and styles as well as new relationships of bodies in space.