JAY DAVID BOLTER is professor at the School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology. Performance and media studies have long discussed whether television has changed the cultural category of “liveness.” We should now expand the field of inquiry to include digital media. Are MMO environments such as Second Life “live”? What is the status of Mixed Reality experiences, which combine human performers with avatars or situate human performers in virtual environments? How is the notion liveness related to presence in mixed reality and more generally in the performative situations of social computing? These questions are now available for cultural negotiation in an age of pervasive computing.
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