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Being Virtual. Who You Really Are Online. Science Museum TechKnow Series
John Wiley and Sons Ltd, April 2008, Pages: 272
Thanks to the Internet, it has never been so easy to become the person of your wildest dreams. Immersive 3D worlds such as Second Life and THERE.com provide an escape route from the ordinary, into a virtual world where you have the power to mould your life in any way you please. Forget about walking, wheelchair users can fly. Pensioners wipe away the pains of age, discovering youthful exuberance and making young friends once more. No wonder it has become harder than ever to honestly answer the question: who am I?
In Being Virtual, Davey Winder looks at how an increasing number of us are living part-real, part-virtual lives, and how it affects who we are. He looks at the opportunities and dangers that a virtual identity offers us, how we juggle our real and online lives, and what happens when one spills over into the other… He uses his own personal experiences to bring the issues to life, and backs them up with the real-life stories of others and testimony from the experts. Along the way, he looks at some fascinating questions such as:
- Are you a virtual liar?
- What happens when our virtual and real worlds collide?
- Why will you talk to anyone online, but nobody on the train to work?
- Why do so many middle-aged men transform into teenage girls online?
- Is it possible to have any secrets in such a connected world?
Being Virtual gives a glimpse into the future of human identity, and is a must-read for anyone who uses the Internet to enhance - or escape from - their 'ordinary' life.
About the author
Davey Winder has been a freelance journalist for 16 years, and is Contributing Editor of the best-selling IT magazine, PC Pro. He has picked up many awards including Technology Journalist of the Year and IT Security Journalist of the Year. A founder member of the Internet Society of England and author of more than 20 books, his blog can be found at:
Preface: New Beginnings.
Section I: Identity Crisis.
1. Online Tribes.
2. Growing UP Online.
3. Enabling Technologies.
4. With This Click, I Thee Wed.
5. Gender Bending.
6. Age Matters.
Section II: Being There.
7. Virtual Worlds, Real Lives.
8. Social Networks and Second Lives.
Section III: Game Over.
9. Addicted to Murder.
10. Rape of an Avatar.
11. The Taboo Busters.
12. Age Play.
Section IV: Logging Off.
13. The Google Effect.
14. Oh My God, They Stole Kenny!
Section V: So Who Are We Online?
15. The Collaborative You.
Davey Winder has been a freelance journalist for 16 years, and is Contributing Editor of the best-selling IT magazine, PC Pro. He's picked up many awards including Technology Journalist of the Year and IT Security Journalist of the Year. Davey is a founder member of the Internet Society of England and author of more than 20 books. His blog can be found at: