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Utopian sociality. Online

Long, Nicholas J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4088-1661 (2012) Utopian sociality. Online. Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 30 (1). pp. 80-94. ISSN 0305-7674

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Identification Number: 10.3167/ca.2012.300108


The metaworld Ultima Online was designed to foster ‘tight communities’ of inhabitants. Software users frequently say it has done just that. Yet many users spend most of their time online alone, engaged in practices of self-realisation, individuation, and skill maximisation. Drawing on Wilde’s utopian writings, I suggest that Ultima Online has fostered an emergent sociality of sympathetic individualism – but that characterizing this as ‘community’, ‘friendship’ and ‘camaraderie’ also allows users to engage with seemingly opposed communitarian tropes of the good life. This affords insights into how ethical imaginations influence emergent forms of human sociality.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Cambridge Anthropology
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 13:32
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:31

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