Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times in Second Life Image

Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times is a new feature length ethnographic documentary by award-winning media maker Draxtor. And you can see the premiere of the documentary on Saturday, April 2nd in the Film Threat Cinema in Second Life

Since March 2020, Draxtor has been following UC Irvine Department of Anthropology researchers Tom Boellstorff, Evan Conaway, Chandra Middleton and Sandy Wenger around Animal Crossing and Second Life to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping online interaction.

In the film, protagonists from all over the world open up about their anxieties and everyday challenges during the last two years, and share what virtual worlds and social games mean to them in the context of a global health crisis.

Many hours of mixed reality interviews, group discussions in Second Life and a comprehensive survey filled out by over 4000 players/residents provide the basis for a sprawling narrative. What emerges through participant observation is a mosaic of impressions, voices and worlds, belonging to people from all walks of life.

We see them actively engaging in community building in the digital realm as they are trying to make sense of a new age dominated by uncertainty and physical isolation. For educational institutions access to a screener of the movie can be provided.

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