Springer, Dordrecht


330 Pages

ISBN 978-0-85729-360-2

Springer Series in Immersive Environments

Reinventing ourselves

contemporary concepts of identity in virtual worlds

Edited by

Anna Peachey , Mark Childs

Virtual worlds are impacting on the lives of millions of people, reaching from communication to education, recreation to business. A significant aspect of these environments is the requirement for users to create an avatar, a character to represent their interactions inworld. Because activity within virtual worlds can be anonymous, and the appearance of these avatars completely malleable, within such spaces we can be whatever we choose to be. Once decoupled from who we physically are, our notion of individual identityis potentially unlimited. Virtual worlds are therefore becoming arenas for experimentation with, and exploration of, identity.

 Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds presents a variety of approaches to understanding these novel forms of identity. Through case studies, literature reviews, quantitative and qualitative analyses and personal reflections, the authors explore the influences and consequences of being virtual. The chapters identify contemporary concepts of identity, how these apply (or may not apply) in virtual worlds, examine the factors that support the development of identity in virtual worlds, give examples of how people manage the multiple identities that can be developed between the physical and the virtual, and explore some of the uses to which these new forms of identity can be put. 

Through the experiences of virtual worlds, the notion of who we are is changing. Reinventing Ourselves is a guide to where these new forms of identity come from, and where they may be taking us.


Publication details

Full citation:

Peachey, A. , Childs, M. (eds) (2011). Reinventing ourselves: contemporary concepts of identity in virtual worlds, Springer, Dordrecht.

Table of Contents

Erratum to


Virtual worlds and identity

Peachey Anna; Childs Mark


Open Access Link

Childs Mark


Open Access Link
The self and second life

Evans Simon


Open Access Link
Encountering oneself and the other

Veerapen Maeva


Open Access Link
Embodying self in virtual worlds

Mazalek Ali; Chandrasekharan Sanjay; Nitsche Michael; Welsh Tim; Clifton Paul


Open Access Link
"Is that your boyfriend?"

Francino Ferdinand; Guiller Jane


Open Access Link
As long as they don't know where i live

McLeod Poppy Lauretta; Leshed Gilly


Open Access Link
Multiple personality order

Gilbert Richard L.; Foss Jessica A.; Murphy Nora A.


Open Access Link
Situated learning in virtual worlds and identity reformation

Adams Anne; Astruc Lluïsa; Garrido Cecilia; Sweeney Breen


Open Access Link

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