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The Play of Internet Communication. Chapter 5 Shedletsky & Aitken Human Communication on the Internet . A STARTING POINT. The Internet can magnify, elaborate, and enhance certain elements of human communication; Play is one of those elements;

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The Play of Internet Communication

Chapter 5

Shedletsky & Aitken

Human Communication on the Internet


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A STARTING POINT

  • The Internet can magnify, elaborate, and enhance certain elements of human communication;

  • Play is one of those elements;

  • Play applies to all functions of the Internet, from entertainment to news, instruction and persuasion;


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The Internet and Our Minds

  • The Web encourages us to think, use our imaginations;

  • New technology, the Web high on that list, facilitates our imaginative and playful thinking;

  • The Internet facilitates our pretending;


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How the Internet can Intensify Communication (Inter)Play

  • Interplay is used to mean an interaction, which can be transformative, entertaining, interesting, or light-hearted;

  • Interplay is used to include play, to include the idea of feelings of pleasure as a motivator;


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Postulates of Play on the Internet

  • Internet play is for itself. It serves internal goals;

  • Internet play co-exists inside and outside the scope of ordinary life;

  • Internet play operates without fixed boundaries of time and space, although the play may operate within Internet rules;

  • Internet play is pliable. The Internet play can

    completely absorb the player or take on a life of its own;


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Play and Identity

  • Turkle (1995) writes about play as integral to the construction of identity on the Internet;

  • Play can have real effects on people in their real lives;


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How Does Play Function on the Internet

  • Seven types of play in Internet communication:

    • Imaginative play like a child

    • Identity role-playing

    • Interplay with the self or other

    • Play like actors in a play

    • Games for destruction

    • Playful work

    • The fun of something new


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Seven Types of Play in Internet Communication

  • Imaginative play like a child

    • Circulating humor, jokes, having fun, playing games;

  • Identity role-playing

    • Experimentation with the self, pretending, extending

  • Interplay with the self or other

    • Internet users approach their communication activity with a sense of playfulness

    • Users seek ways to use the Internet that are pleasureable


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Seven Types of Play in Internet Communication

  • Play like theater

    • Creation of an imaginary space in which people can pretend;

  • Games for destruction

    • Destructive activities on the Internet, such as gossip, transmission of viruses, stalking, violent videogames and terrorism;


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Seven Types of Play in Internet Communication

  • Playful work

    • The Internet intensifies the juxtaposition of play and work;

    • Teachers use popular culture to make serious academic points;


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Seven Types of Play in Internet Communication

  • The fun of something new

    • Computer users experience a mix of frustration and fun;

    • Perhaps overcoming the frustration is what is so satisfying;


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Play vs. Lying

  • Lying

    • Intending to communicate claims and the belief that the sender believes in what he/she is saying;

  • Playing

    • Intending for the receiver to believe that the sender does not believe in the claims he/she is making, that in fact they want the receiver to understand what is implied by this falsehood;


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Play of Computer Games

  • The effect of playing computer video games:

    • Results are mixed;

  • People are playing many types of games online:

    • Casino games, fantasy football, trivia, solitaire, and others;


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Playful Metaphors

  • Discussion groups use metaphors to refer to activities they prefer not to state explicitly or activities they imagine;

  • The Internet itself is characterized in metaphorical terms, e.g., the information superhighway;

  • Metaphor, along with other elements of language, intensifies imagination and creativity, adding to the characteristic of play on the Internet;


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Internet and Communication Principles

  • Internet communication is a process;

  • Adapting to the Internet will increase communication effectiveness;

  • Communication is irreversible;

  • Internet meanings are in people;

  • No one can experience totally effective communication on the Internet;



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