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(Re-)Opening an encounter in the virtual world of Second Life: On types of joint presence in avatar interaction

  • This study explores how ‘gatherings’ turn into ‘encounters’ in a virtu­al world (VW) context. Most communication technologies enable only focused encounters between distributed participants, but in VWs both gatherings and encounters can occur. We present close sequential analysis of moments when after a silent gathering, inter­action among participants in a VW is gradually resumed, and also investigate the social actions in the verbal (re-)opening turns. Our findings show that like in face-to-face situations, also in VWs partici­pants often use different types of embodied resources to achieve the transition, rather than rely on verbal means only. However, the tran­sition process in VWs has distinctive characteristics compared to the one in face-to-face situations. We discuss how participants in a VW use virtually embodied pre-beginnings to display what we call encounter-readiness, instead of displaying lack of presence by avatar stillness. The data comprise 40 episodes of video-recorded team in­teractions in a VW.

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Author:Laura Kohonen-AhoORCiD, Anna VatanenORCiD
Parent Title (German):Journal für Medienlinguistik (jfml)
Publisher:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Place of publication:Mannheim
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2021
Date of Publication (online):2021/11/08
Tag:(re-)openings; avatars; co-presence; conversation analysis; encounter; gathering; multimodal interaction; participation; transition; virtual embodiment; virtual worlds
GND Keyword:Begegnung; Interaktion; Konversationsanalyse; Soziales Handeln; Virtuelle Realität; Zusammenkunft
First Page:14
Last Page:51
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Linguistics-Classification:Pragmalinguistik / Kommunikationsforschung
Journals:Journal für Medienlinguistik : jfml = Journal for media linguistics
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 4.0 International