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Virtual Worlds

Virtual World Engagement

Gay Rodeo in Second Life

Jonathan Cabiria, Ph. D. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Media, PA ABSTRACT: The advent of virtual worlds holds potential as a safe harbor for identity exploration, particularly for marginalized populations. In this study, I examined, through life stories, the differences and similarities that study participants indicated when describing their real world and virtual world life experiences, particularly within the virtual world of Second Life. I paid particular attention to narratives that indicate changes in loneliness, isolation, depression, self-esteem and optimism/pessimism in an attempt to arrive at theories regarding the usefulness of virtual world environments for marginalized people, especially gay and lesbian ...

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