Journal Adds Social Networking Focus

It used to be Cyberpsychology and Behavior, but now it's Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networks. The Editors say they welcome papers about Twitter, Facebook, games, and VR.

It's an interesting moment. You'll recall a decade ago when newspapers proclaimed that "Someday, computers will be everywhere! Your car, your fridge, your phone..." The funny thing about that kind of reporting is that there's never a followup article. "The day has arrived! Computers are now everywhere, you car, your fridge, your phone..." That's because once processors make their way into ordinary gear, the whole thing is ho-hum. Not news.

The same thing seems to be happening with virtual worlds. A virtual world could be defined as VR with other people, and since Facebook is a type of VR-lite, it is kind of a lite virtual world. The Editors of the refocused journal, and the comment-scape generally, are no longer piqued by the particular form in which virtual worlds first came to our attention: WoW and SL. Rather as media and the social have become blended everywhere, so the focus has become more general, on the idea of mediated sociality.

I sense also that there is less and less interest in the meme of gaming as a personality failure. The bugbear now seems to be (once again on the basis of some limited and methodologically questionable research) multi-tasking.

Now that games and virtual worlds are everywhere, they are increasingly unnoticed.

Comments on Journal Adds Social Networking Focus:

Cunzy1 1 says:

Some research into what is firing in the brain with games would be nice.

Posted Feb 9, 2010 1:00:12 PM | link

Richard Bartle says:

If Facebook is a "virtual world", we're going to have to think of another term for what we currently call "virtual worlds".

Oh well, it's not like it was unexpected. Things were so much simpler when they were all simply called MUDs...


Posted Feb 9, 2010 1:43:58 PM | link

Bola C. King says:

"Now that games and virtual worlds are everywhere, they are increasingly unnoticed."

...except, ironically, by those people who think they're not worth noticing.

But isn't this, basically, a good thing? While work in VWs may have to find a new term to stay distinct from less dynamic social networking, this does also mean that it doesn't always have to start with a defense of its existence.

Posted Feb 9, 2010 2:27:31 PM | link