Virtually nothing: Re-evaluating the significance of cyberspace

This paper provides a critical analysis of virtual environments made in recent leisure and cultural studies discussions, which claim virtual reality to be the technotopia of post-modern society. Such positions describe virtual realities as worlds of in nite freedom, which transcend human subjectivity and where identity becomes no longer burdened by the prejudices of persons. Arguing that cyberspace offers little more than a token gesture towards such liberation, the paper suggests a shift in focus from the power relations that might change or remain because of virtual environments, to an awareness of their implications for human beings. Such technologies as chat rooms, the Internet and cyber-sex, are used to illustrate the fundamental challenge of virtual leisure to the human condition. This human condition is often presumed to represent ‘reality/actuality’ and, as such, is said to be in contrast to virtual environments. However, this paper extends its critique of virtual reality, by questioning such a distinction and arguing that new cyber-virtual reality is no more or no less than a sophistication of virtualness that has always re ected the human, embodied experience. Consequently, it is argued how cyberspace is more profound for its challenge to identity construction than for its emancipatory function.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,621
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #557,688 of 2,168,962 )

Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums