De l'immersion à l'habiter dans les mondes virtuels : le cas des villes dans Second Life

Abstract : This research deals with the phenomenon of immersion in virtual worlds which are accessible "thanks to" the internet. Second Life is used as fieldwork because it allows to discuss three immersion regimes: perceptive, narrative and social ones. Through a formal approach (Simmel) and actor-network theory (ANT, Latour), we analyze various mediations which condition these immersion regimes: cities modeled in Second Life are studied in depth as the place to live together and as heterogeneous audiences and uses. Our thesis which is based on sociology also uses information and communication sciences, philosophy, geography of social space, and digital humanities. It is a transdisciplinary approach using various methods: participant observations,interviews, questionnaires. We develop an automated tracker to generate "Big Data" for the analysis of spatial practices of avatars in the digital world. We show that the immersion depends on the choice of the user (visual point of view, choice of activities, etc.) and on qualities and potentialities of Second Life (technical architecture, world map, shape of the built environment, etc.). Appropriation and attachment phenomena between actors and locations are described and allow us to observe the formalization of a "home". The various steps of this work contribute to a theory of habitat in virtual worlds.
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Jean-Francois Lucas. De l'immersion à l'habiter dans les mondes virtuels : le cas des villes dans Second Life. Sociologie. Université Rennes 2, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013REN20010⟩. ⟨tel-00949125v2⟩

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