Actual v. Virtual Venice as Constructed Environments: Place, Space, and Narrative Architecture in Second Life

By Alison L. McKee.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article proposes a hybrid, transdisciplinary reading of Second Life Venice’s constructed environment as exhibition within that virtual world. What is exhibited there is the emotional resonance of ideas of Venice, saturated by nostalgia and intermittently haunted by absence. Far less a reconstruction of the actual Venice, past or present, Second Life Venice is what cultural theorist Henry Jenkins calls an “evocative space” (“Game Design as Narrative Architecture”). That is, it is less about real-world geography than the visitor-builders’ reimagining of actual Venice in and through “existing narrative competencies” (Jenkins).

Keywords: Venice, Second Life, Actual v. Virtual Place, Narrative Architecture

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.169-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.557MB).

Dr. Alison L. McKee

Assistant Professor, Department of Television-Radio-Film-Theatre, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA

Alison L. McKee earned a B.A. and M.A in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied film and literature in the English and Film Studies departments. She went on to get a Ph.D. in film and media studies at UCLA, focusing on film history, narrative, and gender issues in classical American cinema. She has presented and published numerous papers at national and international film and television conferences and been invited to speak in the U.S. and abroad on a range of topics related to media, gender, ethnicity, and politics. McKee is a Salzburg Fellow for AY 2009-1010. Affiliated with the International Studies Program at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, Salzburg Fellows are dedicated to the construction of a culturally, environmentally, and economically sustainable world for all.