1st Edition

Virtual Identities and Digital Culture

Edited By Victoria Kannen, Aaron Langille Copyright 2023
    284 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Virtual Identities and Digital Culture investigates how our online identities and cultures are embedded within the digital practices of our lives, exploring how we form community, how we play, and how we re-imagine traditional media in a digital world.

    The collection explores a wide range of digital topics – from dating apps, microcelebrity, and hackers to auditory experiences, Netflix algorithms, and live theatre online – and builds on existing work in digital culture and identity by bringing new voices, contemporary examples, and highlighting platforms that are emerging in the field. The book speaks to the modern reality of how our digital lives have been forever altered by our transnational experiences – one of those key experiences is the pandemic, but so too is systemic inequality, questions of digital privacy, and the role of joy in our online lives.

    A vital contribution at a time of significant social and cultural flux, this book will be highly relevant to those studying digital culture within media, communication, cultural studies, digital humanities, and sociology departments.

    Section I: Online Identity and Connections

    1) "Hey Handsome": Gay Dating Apps and a Critical Digital Pedagogy of Identity

    Sean Michael Morris

    2) "We’re here for you during this pandemic, just not financially or emotionally": What TikTok Reveals About Student Life During the Pandemic

    Sharon Lauricella and Emily Small

    3) Mediated Identities: How Facebook Intervenes in the Virtual Manifestation of our Identities

    Luis A. Grande Branger

    4) Reassessing Clicktivism: A Tool of the (Pandemic) Times

    Adiki Puplampu and Iain Macpherson

    5) "Victims of the System": Anti-Government Discourse and Political Influencers Online

    Michelle Stewart, Maxime Bérubé, Samuel Laperle, Sklaerenn Le Gallo, and Stéphanie Panneton

    6) From Networks to Assemblages: An Analysis of Feminist Activism Against Digital Violence in Mexico

    Marcela Suárez

    7) Navigating Nii’kinaaganaa (All My Relations) Online

    Joey-Lynn Wabie and Michelle Kennedy

    8) Virtually Authentic? Digital Bodies, "Blank" Squares, and Staring Online

    Victoria Kannen

    9) From a Group of Friends to a Mainstream Audience: Critical Role and New Media Publics

    Betsy Brey and Elise Vist


    Section II: Games & Play

    10) Not All Fun and Games in #MyPokeHood: The Politics and Pitfalls of Universal Game Design in Pokémon GO!

    Kiera Obbard and Abi Lemak

    11) Lip Dubbing for Fido: Listening to the Internet through Viral Pet Video Memes

    Kate Galloway

    12) ‘Turn Off That Friggin’ Radio!’: The Canadian Soldier Figure and Identity Formation in Videogames

    Jason Hawreliak and Venus Torabi

    13) Inventing with Zoom: How Play and Games Uncover Affordances in Digital Environments

    Jacob Euteneuer

    14) Interfaces and Their Affordances: Critical Game Design, Identity, and Community in MMORPGs

    Chris Hugelmann

    15) Better than the Real You? VR, Identity, Privacy, and the Metaverse

    Iain Macpherson and Adiki Puplampu

    16) Our War Game: Hacker Games as Laborious Play

    Alex Dean Cybulski

    17) Listening to and Playing Along with the Soundscapes of Videogame Environments

    Kate Galloway


    Section III: Reimagining Traditional Media

    18) Netflix as the New Television Screen: A Queer Investigation into Streaming, Algorithms, and Schitt$ Creek

    Lauren McLean

    19) The Missing Live Ingredient: The Search for Ephemerality in the Screening and Streaming of Theatre

    Amanda Di Ponio

    20) From Video Tape Exchange Networks to On-Demand Streaming Platforms: The Circulation of Independent Canadian Film and Video in the Digital Era

    Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte

    21) Platforms and Poetry as a Popular Form of Engagement

    Tanja Grubnic

    22) Lil Nas X, TikTok, and the Evolution of Music Engagement on Social Networking Sites

    Melissa Avdeeff

    23) "No Friends in the Industry": The Dominance of Tech Companies on Digital Music

    Kristopher R. K. Ohlendorf

    24) Say Their Name: How Online News Reports the Death of Transgender People and its Intersection with Transnormativity

    Rachel Patterson

    25) The ‘Affinityscapes’ of Young Adult Dystopias: A study of The Hunger Games Series’ Participatory Culture

    Zahra Rizvi

    26) Reboot and Rebirth: Artificial Intelligence and Spiritual Existence in The Good Place

    Liz W. Faber


    Victoria Kannen is a Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisor of Research at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. She is the author of Gendered Bodies and Public Scrutiny: Women’s Stories of Staring, Strangers, and Fierce Resistance (2021). She is also the co-editor of The Spaces and Places of Canadian Popular Culture (2019).

    Aaron Langille is a Professor and Coordinator of the Game Design program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. He is a regular columnist on CBC radio where he talks about games, technology, and the impact of our digital lives. He is currently writing two textbooks, one of which is on learning to program through analogies and, the other, is on learning to program through games.