Virtual Worlds and Identity Exploration for Marginalised People

  • Jon Cabiria
Part of the Springer Series in Immersive Environments book series (SSIE)


The recent rise in the use of virtual worlds as alternative spaces for social gatherings has increased people’s access to identity role-play and redevelopment options. By being able to explore repressed facets of their identities in virtual safe harbours such as Second LifeTM, marginalised people may be able to benefit from positive experiences that can be transferable to their physical world lives. Social construction approaches and the broaden and build theory of positive emotions are used to support the claim that marginalised people, using virtual world interactions, are able to reformulate how they perceive and are perceived by others, leading to positive psychological effects. Online behaviours, such as deindividuation and disinhibition, coupled with anonymity, replace missing sensory informational cues in virtual world environments. Social evaluation theory and social identity theory aid in explaining how people relate to each other in these spaces and the effects on identity development.


Positive Emotion Virtual World Physical World Safe Harbour Identity Exploration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Walden UniversityMinneapolisUSA

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