Call for Chapters – Handbook of Research on Multiliteracies and Technology Enhanced Education: Social Practice and the Global Classroom

For the first time *ever* I’ve had to start saying no to invitations to write book chapters – with a new book and several chapters and articles already promised and in the works, my writing schedule for 2008 is pretty much tied up already. But for anybody wanting to publish something about multiliteracies, here’s a CFC from a great team in Tasmania.

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Gene vs. Pixel

Strong Blonde

What is it about avatars that make them so addictive, and such a pleasure for us to shape, to consume products for, to create so that they are evocative and edgy and sexy and seductive and aesthetically appealing? As we mold our post-modern bodies with a guilty pleasure, embracing the contrasts of fantasy over reality and disrupt the normal with the imagined? In Baudrillard’s terms, if the avatar is a referrent, a digitally generated image which is pure representation – why do our avatars reference the hypersexualised, the hyperreal, the glossy magazine models with perfect flawless shiny white skin? The coded information in my avatar is read… how?

Perversely, I read my avatar as being subversive. I see it as subverting the reality of an aging sagging body and experimenting with how I am treated, and how people communicate with me across my social spheres. It’s a gender experiment for me that I find fun, playful, and liberating on the one hand, yet difficult to come to terms with on the other hand because the reality is sometimes the post-modern Barbie gets a whole lot more attention that the real and flawed flesh and bones woman. Other times “she” is discriminated against because she is “too” something or another – too beautiful, too sexy, too intimidating, too fashionable.

I’ve been writing about avatars for 10 years now!!!! But still these issues intrigue me every time I speak at a conference and experience a whole range of complex questions from the audience about identity, sexuality, feminism, commodification, representation and hyperreality.

Now, shall I go blonde, or stick with brunette?


Twittories: a collaborative twitter story

The Darkness Inside is the first ever twittory – a story developed by 140 people using twitter, each person allowed one tweet, which is a maximum of 140 characters in length.

The twittory will then be podcast at the Podcast Network, and later turned into a Second Life machinima.

Surprisingly, the writers are so far creating a very rich narrative – with hints of characters in and out of virtual spaces, a touch of fantasy, a mystery, touches of back story and flashbacks, and a few old fashioned stereotypes. One clever writer so far added in a twist nobody saw coming, and the whole twitterverse went ahhhhhh – some amusing and clever storytelling. It’s exciting to see what happens with story when every letter and space counts – how much can you communicate within the constrictions of 140 characters at a time. It’s truly poetic. Even if it turns into a farce, its an incredibly fascinating experience in terms of narrative, social collaboration of text, and understanding the constructedness of the plot with respect to knowing each individual writer’s style.  Or should that be their ‘tweeting’ style? I am already signed up for Twittory #2 and the podcast. If any teachers want to do this with their class I would love to know, as seeing what kids would do with it and how they would engage in the metadiscourse would be a great study!!

A Socio-Cultural Overview of Second Life

Links for Next Generation Dealmakers training


New Media Opportunities in the Online World of Second Life

iVillage Fashion Show

Bloggers, Journalists and Tabloids:

Second Style Fashionista

Fashion Victim

Linden Lifestyles

Second Life Herald

New World Notes

Reuters in Second Life


Virtually Blind

NMC Campus Observer

SLCN (Second Life Cable Network) TV

Out of World Shopping:

SL Exchange

Onrez Shopping 


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