rp08 - 0.5

Die kritische Masse

Julian Kücklich
Day 1
Room Workshop 2
Start time 20:00
Duration 01:00
ID 230
Event type Lecture
Track denken und schenken
Language English

A Mass without Criticality

Virtual Worlds, Social Networks, and their Discontents

Building on previous work on the realism of virtual worlds, I will try to a) widen the scope on virtual worlds by including communities such as Facebook, and b) try to understand virtual worlds from a political economy point of view, which will allow us to ask why the massive exploitation of user-generated content does not lead to the rise of a political consciousness among the inhabitants of those worlds. In this context, Michel Foucault's concept of "governmentality" becomes a key avenue of inquiry that enables an investigation of simulated forms of government that are not based on the explicit consent of the governed. This also allows for a deconstruction of simplistic "social contract" theories of virtual worlds, which are so often used to represent the relationship between providers and users. Instead, I will argue that we require a theory of "collusion" centered on Ernesto Laclau's theory of the empty signifier to understand the complex power structures within virtual worlds.