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Call for Papers – Special Issue on Virtual Worlds as Sites for Social and Cultural Innovation

Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies – Vol. 18 No 1, February 2012

Guest editors: Louise Phillips and Sisse Siggaard Jensen, Communication Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark.

Convergence invites contributions for its forthcoming special issue on ‘Virtual Worlds as Sites for Social and Cultural Innovation’. There is a growing recognition of the importance of virtual worlds as environments that carry the potential for social and cultural innovation by making possible new forms of social relationships based on communication among avatars. We seek papers from across the humanities and social sciences that present distinctive theoretical and empirical analyses of virtual worlds and deal systematically and critically with their possibilities and limitations in relation to social and cultural innovation. We particularly welcome papers that are themselves innovative in their research practices and that reflect carefully on their use of theories and methodologies including efforts to rework theories and methodologies developed for the study of other media.

Papers may, in principle, apply any relevant conceptualisation of processes of social and cultural innovation, they may focus on any space that is widely categorised as a virtual world in the context of a discussion of contested definitions of virtual worlds, and they may report on attempts to produce innovation such as simulation or experiments in virtual spaces. Possible topics include (but are not restricted to)

• Meaning-making and sense-making processes in and/or about virtual worlds
• Co-design and user-generated content
• Entrepreneurship, market dynamics and management
• The construction and communication of knowledge in and/or about virtual worlds
• Conceptions of space, place and/or body and/or identity
• Social experimentation and the establishment and maintenance of social practices and rules of social conduct
• Learning and knowledge construction in higher education
• Emerging fields and new forms of expression and/or dissemination

We are hoping with this issue both to develop the emergent multidisciplinary field of study on virtual worlds and to feed into the wider body of research about digital communication and culture.

Deadline for submission of research articles: 1 February 2011

Please submit electronically –

Guidelines for the submission of papers can be found at:

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Special Issue on Virtual Worlds as Sites for Social and Cultural Innovation – Virtual Worlds Research Project linked to this post on 2011/01/05

    [...] See the full call for papers in this previous post. [...]

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