Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735235.003.0006

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Contested Rituals in Virtual Worlds

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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

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