Contested Rituals in Virtual Worlds

Simone Heidbrink, Nadja Miczek and Kerstin Radde-Antweiler

in Ritual, Media, and Conflict

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735235
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895175 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Contested Rituals in Virtual Worlds

Show Summary Details


This chapter studies disrupted online rituals in virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, examining negotiations concerning the emergence and resolution of ritual conflicts. By interviewing online participants, the chapter inquires into the relationship between offline and online identities, hoping to identify the triggers of conflict. In supposedly playful game environments, multiple layers of conflict emerge among participants, public bystanders, and researchers studying these interactions. The chapter also shows how participants engage in serious conflict over ritual’s authority, efficacy, and agency—issues that plague rituals in the offline world.

Keywords: online ritual; media; conflict; Second Life; World of Warcraft; Church of Fools; the Internet

Chapter.  9538 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.